EXECUTIVE ORDER S-16-10


WHEREAS 11 workers were tragically killed when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010; and
 
WHEREAS 206 million gallons of toxic crude oil were spewed into the Gulf of Mexico for 120 days following the explosion, forcing the federal government to use 1.84 million gallons of chemical dispersants in an attempt to eradicate the oil in Gulf waters; and

WHEREAS the oil and the dispersants have caused as yet unknown detrimental harm to ocean-based industries, people, and property; forced the closure of hundreds of miles of tourist-friendly coastlines; and threatened fragile marine and marshland ecosystems; and
 
WHEREAS the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement , the federal agency tasked with overseeing the federal offshore oil drilling leases, has acknowledged that lax regulatory oversight played a role in the oil spill; and
 
WHEREAS the State of California should align its offshore oil drilling standards and procedures with the “Increased Safety Measures for Energy Development on the Outer Continental Shelf” (Safety Measures Report), dated May 27, 2010, a report ordered by United States President Barack Obama and conducted by the United States Department of the Interior; and
 
WHEREAS California’s 1,100 miles of coastline are precious resources that must be preserved and protected; and

WHEREAS existing law authorizes the Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) to mandate that Oil Spill Contingency Plans be filed with its office by companies leasing oil production sites from the State; and
 
WHEREAS in August 2010, the Lieutenant Governor, who is a member of the State Lands Commission, issued a policy memorandum to his fellow commissioners recommending requiring third-party certification of the compatibility for blowout preventers from the operators of all wells; and
 
WHEREAS it is necessary to take additional measures to strengthen California’s oversight of oil spill prevention and response for offshore oil production leases in state waters.
 
NOW, THEREFORE, I, ABEL MALDONADO, Acting Governor of the State of California, in accordance with the authority vested in me by the Constitution and statutes of the State of California, do hereby issue this Executive Order, effective immediately, to strengthen California’s oversight of oil spill prevention and response:
 
IT IS ORDERED that the OSPR mandate that all entities that own or operate offshore marine facilities update their Oil Spill Contingency Plans to accommodate longer uncontrolled oil releases that could result from any natural or man-made incident.
 
Specifically, it is ordered that entities that own or operate offshore marine facilities off the coast of California file revised response coordination plans for worst case discharge scenarios that must accommodate a 30-day uncontrolled oil spill by July 1, 2011.
 
IT IS ALSO ORDERED, that, pursuant to the policy memo issued by the California Lt. Governor Abel Maldonado, the State Lands Commission require third-party certification of the compatibility for blowout preventers from the operators of all wells.  Further, a description of the qualifications of the independent third party should be attached to the certification.  The third-party certification must be conducted and submitted to Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources within the California Department of Conservation no later than January 31, 2011. Specifically, the certification must verify the following:
 
1.    The blowout preventer stack is designed for the specific equipment on the correct rig.
2.    The blowout preventer stack is compatible with the specific well location, well design and well execution plan.
3.    The blowout preventer stack will operate in the conditions in which it will be used.

This Executive Order is not intended to, and does not, create any rights or benefits, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity, against the State of California, its agencies, departments, entities, officers, employees, or any other person.