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[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]


111th Congress                                            Rept. 111-581
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                      Part 1
======================================================================
 
                     BLOWOUT PREVENTION ACT OF 2010

                                _______
                                

                 July 29, 2010.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Waxman, from the Committee on Energy and Commerce, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

  The Committee on Energy and Commerce, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 5626) to protect public health and safety and 
the environment by requiring the use of safe well control 
technologies and practices for the drilling of high-risk oil 
and gas wells in the United States, and for other purposes, 
having considered the same, report favorably thereon with an 
amendment and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Amendment........................................................     1
Purpose and Summary..............................................    13
Background and Need for Legislation..............................    13
Legislative History..............................................    17
Committee Consideration..........................................    17
Committee Votes..................................................    17
Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations.................    19
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures    19
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............    19
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................    19
Earmarks and Tax and Tariff Benefits.............................    19
Federal Advisory Committee Statement.............................    19
Applicability of Law to Legislative Branch.......................    19
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................    19
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................    20
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................    20
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................    20
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............    26

                               Amendment

  The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Blowout Prevention Act of 2010''.

SEC. 2. NO DRILLING OF COVERED WELLS WITHOUT DEMONSTRATED ABILITY TO 
                    PREVENT AND CONTAIN LEAKS.

  (a) Federally Permitted Covered Wells.--Effective one year after the 
date of enactment of this Act, the appropriate Federal official shall 
not issue a permit to drill for a covered well unless the applicant for 
such permit demonstrates, the Chief Executive Officer of the applicant 
attests in writing, and the appropriate Federal official determines 
that--
          (1) the well design is safe;
          (2) the blowout preventer has redundant systems to prevent or 
        stop a blowout for all foreseeable blowout scenarios and 
        failure modes;
          (3) the applicant has an oil spill response plan that ensures 
        that the applicant has the capacity to promptly control and 
        stop a blowout in the event the blowout preventer and other 
        well control measures fail; and
          (4) the applicant has the capability to begin drilling of a 
        relief well promptly, and complete such drilling of a relief 
        well to stop a blowout expeditiously.
  (b) Other Covered Wells.--Effective one year after the date of 
enactment of this Act, any operator who intends to drill a covered well 
for which a permit to drill is not otherwise required to be issued by a 
Federal official shall notify the appropriate Federal official of the 
operator's intent to drill such covered well, and shall not commence 
drilling such well without approval of the appropriate Federal 
official. The appropriate Federal official shall approve the 
commencement of drilling of such well only if the operator has made a 
demonstration and attestation, and the appropriate Federal official has 
made a determination, equivalent to those required under subsection 
(a). The appropriate Federal official may delegate the duties 
associated with this subsection to a State if the appropriate Federal 
official determines that such State is capable of faithfully executing 
such duties.
  (c) Material Modifications.--A permit or approval for a covered well 
issued under this section shall require the operator to seek a revision 
of such permit or approval in the event of a material modification to 
the well design, blowout preventer, plan to promptly stop a blowout, or 
capability to begin or complete drilling of a relief well for such 
covered well.

SEC. 3. BLOWOUT PREVENTER REQUIREMENTS.

  (a) Blowout Preventer Adequacy Standards.--
          (1) Standards.--The regulations issued under section 7(a) 
        shall require the use of blowout preventers in all covered well 
        drilling operations and prescribe safety standards for such 
        blowout preventers. Such standards shall require that a blowout 
        preventer will operate effectively at the location where it 
        will be deployed to prevent a blowout. At a minimum, such 
        standards shall include the following requirements:
                  (A) Two sets of blind shear rams appropriately spaced 
                to prevent blowout preventer failure if a drill pipe 
                joint or drill tool is across one set of blind shear 
                rams during a situation that threatens loss of well 
                control.
                  (B) Redundant emergency backup control systems 
                capable of activating the relevant components of a 
                blowout preventer, including when the communications 
                link or other critical links between the drilling rig 
                and the blowout preventer are destroyed or inoperable.
                  (C) Regular testing of the emergency backup control 
                systems, including testing during deployment of the 
                blowout preventer.
                  (D) As appropriate, ROV intervention capabilities for 
                secondary control of all blowout preventer functions, 
                including adequate hydraulic capacity to activate blind 
                shear rams, casing shear rams, and other critical 
                blowout preventer components.
          (2) Advisory committee recommendations.--In accordance with 
        section 6 of this Act, the appropriate Federal official shall 
        request that the Advisory Committee provide the appropriate 
        Federal official with each of the following:
                  (A) A recommendation as to whether requiring up to 
                two sets of appropriately-spaced casing shear rams in 
                blowout preventers for all covered wells, or at certain 
                classes of covered wells, would significantly improve 
                the safety of blowout preventer systems at such wells.
                  (B) An evaluation of the risks associated with the 
                failure of hydraulic and activation systems for the 
                blind shear rams and other critical components of 
                blowout preventers at covered wells and, as 
                appropriate, a recommendation on how to best achieve an 
                appropriate level of redundancy to address such risks.
                  (C) An evaluation of the risks associated with 
                blowout preventers other than subsea blowout preventers 
                at offshore covered wells in the event the drilling rig 
                for such covered well is damaged or destroyed, the 
                riser or other well component between the wellbore and 
                the blowout preventer is damaged or destroyed, or the 
                blowout preventer at such covered well is rendered 
                inoperative, by a blowout, explosion, or other cause, 
                and, as appropriate, a recommendation on how to best 
                mitigate such risks.
        If, based on any recommendation of the Advisory Committee under 
        this paragraph, the appropriate Federal official determines 
        that safety would be significantly improved by requiring 
        additional measures to mitigate risks identified under this 
        paragraph, the appropriate Federal official shall include such 
        a requirement in regulations issued under section 7(a). Nothing 
        in this paragraph shall prevent the appropriate Federal 
        official from adopting any requirement relating to the issues 
        addressed under this paragraph prior to the submission by the 
        Advisory Committee of an evaluation or recommendation under 
        this paragraph.
          (3) Regulatory flexibility.--If, after notice and an 
        opportunity for public comment, the appropriate Federal 
        official determines that a minimum requirement prescribed under 
        this section would be less effective than an available 
        alternative technology or practice in preventing a blowout at 
        all covered wells, or at one or more classes of covered wells, 
        the appropriate Federal official may include in initial or 
        revised regulations issued under section 7(a) a requirement for 
        such alternative technology or practice at all covered wells, 
        or at such class or classes of covered wells, as appropriate, 
        in lieu of the less effective requirement.
  (b) Independent Third-party Certification of Blowout Preventer 
Readiness.--The regulations issued under section 7(a) shall require the 
following:
          (1) Prior to the commencement of drilling through a blowout 
        preventer at any covered well, the operator shall obtain a 
        written and signed certification from an independent third 
        party approved and assigned by the appropriate Federal official 
        pursuant to section 6(b) that the third party--
                  (A) conducted or oversaw a detailed physical 
                inspection, design review, system integration test, and 
                function and pressure testing of the blowout preventer; 
                and
                  (B) in the third-party certifier's best professional 
                judgment, determined that--
                          (i) the blowout preventer is designed for the 
                        specific drilling conditions, equipment, and 
                        location where it will be installed and for the 
                        specific well design;
                          (ii) the blowout preventer and all of its 
                        components and control systems will operate 
                        effectively and as designed when installed;
                          (iii) each blind shear ram or casing shear 
                        ram will function effectively under likely 
                        emergency scenarios and is capable of shearing 
                        the drill pipe or casing, as applicable, that 
                        will be used when installed;
                          (iv) emergency control systems will function 
                        under the conditions in which they will be 
                        installed; and
                          (v) the blowout preventer has not been 
                        compromised or damaged from any previous 
                        service.
          (2) Not less than once every 180 days after commencement of 
        drilling through a blowout preventer at any covered well, or 
        upon implementation of any material modification to the blowout 
        preventer or well design at such a well, the operator shall 
        obtain a written and signed recertification from an independent 
        third party approved and assigned by the appropriate Federal 
        official pursuant to section 6(b) that the requirements in 
        subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) continue to be met with the 
        systems as deployed. Such recertification determinations shall 
        consider the results of tests required by the appropriate 
        Federal official, including testing of the emergency control 
        systems of a blowout preventer.
          (3) Certifications under paragraph (1), recertifications 
        under paragraph (2), and results of and data from all tests 
        conducted pursuant to this subsection shall be promptly 
        submitted to the appropriate Federal official and made publicly 
        available.
  (c) Additional Blowout Preventer Testing.--The regulations issued 
under section 7(a) shall require, after a significant well control 
event at a covered well, prompt function and pressure testing of any 
blowout preventer component used in such well control event to ensure 
the full operability of all functions of such component. The results of 
and data from such testing shall be promptly submitted to the 
appropriate Federal official.
  (d) Documentation and Reporting.--The regulations issued under 
section 7(a) shall require--
          (1) submission to the appropriate Federal official of 
        documentation of blowout preventer maintenance and repair 
        within 24 hours of such maintenance and repair;
          (2) prompt and real-time transmission of the electronic log 
        from a blowout preventer control system to a secure location 
        where it shall be continuously monitored and available for 
        inspection by the appropriate Federal official;
          (3) maintenance, at a secure location off the drilling site, 
        of up-to-date design specifications of any blowout preventer in 
        service;
          (4) submission to the appropriate Federal official of any 
        changes to the design specifications of a blowout preventer in 
        service within 24 hours of such change; and
          (5) prompt reporting to the appropriate Federal official of a 
        failure of any blowout preventer or any component of a blowout 
        preventer when used during a well control event.

SEC. 4. ENSURING SAFE WELLS AND CEMENTING.

  (a) Ensuring Safe Well Design.--The regulations issued under section 
7(a) shall require the appropriate and safe design of covered wells. At 
a minimum, such regulations shall require--
          (1) in connection with the installation of the final casing 
        string, the installation of at least two independent, tested 
        mechanical barriers, in addition to a cement barrier, across 
        each flow path between hydrocarbon bearing formations and the 
        blowout preventer;
          (2) that wells shall be designed so that a failure of one 
        barrier does not significantly increase the likelihood of 
        another barrier's failure;
          (3) that the casing design is appropriate for the purpose for 
        which it is intended under reasonably expected wellbore 
        conditions; and
          (4) the installation and verification with a pressure test of 
        a lockdown device at the time the casing is installed in the 
        wellhead.
  (b) Ensuring Safe Cementing.--The regulations issued under section 
7(a) shall require cementing programs and procedures for a covered well 
to ensure that well control will be maintained and that there will be 
no unintended flow path between any hydrocarbon-bearing formation zone 
and the wellhead. Such regulations shall, at a minimum, require--
          (1) adequate centralization of the casing to ensure proper 
        distribution of cement;
          (2) a full circulation of drilling fluids prior to cementing;
          (3) the use of an adequate volume of cement to prevent any 
        unintended flow of hydrocarbons between any hydrocarbon-bearing 
        formation zone and the wellhead;
          (4) cement bond logs for all cementing jobs intended to 
        provide a barrier to hydrocarbon flow; and
          (5) cement bond logs or such other integrity tests as the 
        appropriate Federal official may prescribe for cement jobs 
        other than those identified in paragraph (4).
  (c) Ensuring Safe Decisionmaking.--The regulations issued under 
section 7(a) shall require the well operator to maintain a team of 
experienced and highly qualified engineers and other appropriate 
experts to advise the operator on the safety of decisions made during 
the drilling of the well that create a risk of loss of well control.
  (d) Preventing Ignition and Explosion.--The regulations issued under 
section 7(a) shall establish procedures and technologies to be used 
during drilling at any covered well to minimize the risk of ignition 
and explosion of hydrocarbons or any other material discharged from the 
well during a blowout or well control event. Such regulations shall 
address the diversion of oil, gas, well fluids, and other materials and 
shall include standards for drilling equipment and engines on such 
equipment.
  (e) Regulatory Flexibility.--If, after notice and an opportunity for 
public comment, the appropriate Federal official determines that a 
minimum requirement prescribed under this section would be less 
effective than an available alternative technology or practice in 
preventing a blowout at all covered wells, or at one or more classes of 
covered wells, in a situation that threatens loss of well control, the 
appropriate Federal official may include in initial or revised 
regulations issued under section 7(a) a requirement for such 
alternative technology or practice at all covered wells, or at such 
class or classes of covered wells, as appropriate, in lieu of the less 
effective requirement.
  (f) Third-party Certification.--
          (1) Certification.--The regulations issued under section 7(a) 
        shall require that, prior to the commencement of drilling at 
        any covered well, the operator shall obtain a written and 
        signed certification from an independent third party approved 
        and assigned by the appropriate Federal official pursuant to 
        section 6(b) that the well meets the requirements established 
        by the appropriate Federal official under this section and, 
        that, in the best professional judgment of the independent 
        third party, the operator's well casing designs and cementing 
        programs and procedures ensure that well control will be 
        maintained and that there will be no unintended flow path 
        between hydrocarbon-bearing formation zones or between any 
        hydrocarbon-bearing zones and the wellhead.
          (2) Recertification.--Upon implementation of any material 
        modification to the well design of such a well, the operator 
        shall obtain a written and signed recertification from an 
        independent third party approved and assigned by the 
        appropriate Federal official pursuant to section 6(b) that the 
        well design continues to meet the requirements established by 
        the appropriate Federal official under this section.

SEC. 5. STOP-WORK REQUIREMENTS.

  (a) Requirements.--The regulations issued under section 7(a) shall 
establish stop-work requirements for oil and gas exploration and 
production activities at covered wells, including requirements that--
          (1) the operator, or the operator's employees or contractors, 
        immediately stop all work at the covered well, other than the 
        work required to ensure safety, in the event of specified well 
        conditions or other factors indicating that there is an 
        immediate risk of a blowout;
          (2) the operator adopt policies and procedures to promote a 
        safety culture and ensure that the operator, or the operator's 
        employees or contractors, immediately stop all work at the 
        covered well, other than the work required to ensure safety, 
        when the operator, or the operator's employees or contractors, 
        whether on the drilling site or off the drilling site, have 
        identified well conditions, well design, drilling procedures, 
        drilling equipment, or any other factor indicating that there 
        is an immediate risk of a blowout;
          (3) the operator, or the operator's employees or contractors, 
        take appropriate action to mitigate risks identified pursuant 
        to paragraph (1) or (2), and obtain the concurrence of the 
        appropriate Federal official that such action is sufficient, 
        prior to resumption of work;
          (4) the appropriate Federal official act in a timely manner 
        to provide the concurrence identified in paragraph (3) or to 
        identify further actions by the operator necessary to obtain 
        such concurrence; and
          (5) the operator inform its employees and contractors that it 
        is illegal to retaliate against such employee or contractor for 
        raising safety concerns, including in connection with stop work 
        policies and procedures adopted pursuant to this section.
  (b) Records of Events.--The appropriate Federal official shall 
maintain records of all such events, their duration, the reason for 
such events, and the actions taken prior to the resumption of 
activities.

SEC. 6. INDEPENDENT TECHNICAL ADVICE AND CERTIFICATION.

  (a) Well Control Technical Advisory Committee.--
          (1) Establishment.--Not later than 60 days after the date of 
        enactment of this Act, the appropriate Federal official shall 
        appoint an independent technical advisory committee to be known 
        as the Well Control Technical Advisory Committee.
          (2) Membership.--
                  (A) Composition.--The Advisory Committee shall be 
                composed of 7 members. Members shall be qualified by 
                education, training, and experience to provide 
                scientific and technical advice with regard to blowout 
                preventers and other well control equipment and 
                operations. The membership of the Advisory Committee 
                shall be balanced fairly in terms of the points of view 
                represented. At least 3 of the members of the Advisory 
                Committee shall be members of the National Academy of 
                Engineering. No more than 3 of the members of the 
                Advisory Committee shall be current employees of 
                entities subject to regulation under this Act or of 
                entities that are contractors of any entity subject to 
                regulation under this Act.
                  (B) Appointment and terms.--The appropriate Federal 
                official shall appoint Advisory Committee members, 
                including a chair and vice-chair to the Advisory 
                Committee. Each term of a member's service on the 
                Advisory Committee shall be 3 years, except for initial 
                terms, which may be up to 5 years in length to allow 
                staggering. Members may be reappointed only once for an 
                additional 3-year term.
                  (C) No pay; receipt of travel expenses.--Members of 
                the Advisory Committee shall not receive any pay for 
                service on the Advisory Committee but may receive 
                travel expenses, including a per diem, from the 
                appropriate Federal official.
                  (D) Staff and facilities.--The appropriate Federal 
                official shall make available to the Advisory Committee 
                such staff and facilities as the chair of the Advisory 
                Committee and the appropriate Federal official 
                determine are necessary to carry out the duties of the 
                Advisory Committee.
          (3) Periodic reports.--Not later than 180 days after the date 
        of enactment of this Act, and every 5 years thereafter, the 
        Advisory Committee shall submit to the appropriate Federal 
        official and Congress a report that--
                  (A) assesses available blowout preventer and well 
                control technologies, practices, voluntary standards, 
                and regulations in the United States and elsewhere;
                  (B) assesses whether existing regulations issued by 
                the appropriate Federal official for blowout preventers 
                and well control for covered wells for oil and gas 
                exploration or production in the United States 
                adequately protect public health and safety and the 
                environment; and
                  (C) as appropriate, recommends modifications to the 
                regulations identified under subparagraph (B) to ensure 
                adequate protection of public health and safety and the 
                environment.
          (4) Implementation assessment reports.--Not later than March 
        31 of 2012, and as needed thereafter, but not less frequently 
        than every two calendar years thereafter, the Advisory 
        Committee shall submit to the appropriate Federal official and 
        to Congress a report that--
                  (A) assesses the appropriate Federal official's 
                implementation of the requirements of this Act during 
                the preceding year, including well-specific regulatory 
                determinations and oversight, administration of 
                inspections, and third-party certification 
                requirements;
                  (B) recommends any improvements to the implementation 
                referred to in subparagraph (A) that, in the Advisory 
                Committee's judgment, would enhance the safety of 
                drilling operations subject to the requirements of this 
                Act; and
                  (C) reviews the safety record during the preceding 
                year of any equipment, designs, or practices subject to 
                the requirements of this Act.
          (5) Other duties.--In addition to the responsibilities set 
        forth under this section, the Advisory Committee shall--
                  (A) review and comment on proposed regulations as 
                required under section 7;
                  (B) respond to requests for advice from the 
                appropriate Federal official on matters within the 
                Advisory Committee's expertise; and
                  (C) as appropriate, consult with third-party 
                certifiers and with employees of the agency conducting 
                inspections pursuant to this Act, and review reports or 
                other documents submitted to the appropriate Federal 
                official pursuant to this Act, to obtain information on 
                blowout preventer and well control safety issues.
          (6) Application of federal advisory committee act.--The 
        Federal Advisory Committee Act (other than section 14 of such 
        Act) shall apply to the Advisory Committee to the extent that 
        the provisions of such Act do not conflict with the 
        requirements of this subsection.
  (b) Independent Third-party Certifiers.--
          (1) Approval.--The appropriate Federal official shall 
        establish appropriate standards for the approval of independent 
        third parties capable of exercising the certification functions 
        prescribed under sections 3 and 4, including standards to 
        ensure technical competence and an absence of, or a mechanism 
        for adequately mitigating, any actual or apparent conflicts of 
        interest.
          (2) Assignment.--The appropriate Federal official shall 
        require that the reviews, inspections, tests, certifications, 
        and recertifications required under sections 3 and 4 are 
        performed or overseen by independent third-party certifiers 
        that have contracted directly with the appropriate Federal 
        official rather than the operator and are assigned by the 
        appropriate Federal official to individual certifications and 
        recertifications, including the reviews, inspections, and tests 
        required for such individual certifications and 
        recertifications. The appropriate Federal official shall ensure 
        that--
                  (A) a third-party certifier is appropriately 
                qualified for each certification or recertification to 
                which it is assigned; and
                  (B) such reviews, inspections, and tests are timely 
                performed.
          (3) Contracting and fees.--The appropriate Federal official 
        shall contract with independent third-party certifiers to 
        perform the reviews, inspections, tests, certifications, and 
        recertifications required by the regulations issued under this 
        Act and shall assess fees upon operators to cover the 
        reasonable costs of such activities.
          (4) Enforcement.--It shall be a violation of this Act for any 
        third-party certifier approved under this section to make any 
        false statement, knowingly or with reckless disregard for the 
        truth of such statement, in any document submitted to the 
        appropriate Federal official in connection with a certification 
        or recertification under this Act.
  (c) Expert Review Panels.--The appropriate Federal official may 
establish a panel of technical experts to provide technical advice with 
regard to any well-specific regulatory decision under this Act, 
including permitting determinations under section 2 and agency actions 
described in section 4. The appropriate Federal official shall--
          (1) identify a pool of qualified experts in relevant areas, 
        including but not limited to those drawn from academia, 
        national laboratories, and industry, for this purpose; and
          (2) establish standards for including and maintaining 
        individuals in such pool, including standards to ensure 
        technical competence and an absence of, or a mechanism for 
        adequately mitigating, any actual or apparent conflicts of 
        interest.

SEC. 7. REGULATIONS AND ORDERS.

  (a) Issuance, Review, and Revision of Regulations.--
          (1) Issuance of regulations.--Not later than 1 year after the 
        date of enactment of this Act, the appropriate Federal official 
        shall issue the regulations required under this Act.
          (2) Periodic review and revision of rules.--At least once 
        every 5 years, the appropriate Federal official shall review 
        and, based on new or updated information and taking into 
        consideration the recommendations of the Advisory Committee, 
        shall--
                  (A) revise the regulations issued under this Act to 
                ensure that such regulations adequately protect public 
                health and safety and the environment; or
                  (B) issue a written determination that revision of 
                such regulations would not materially enhance 
                protection of public health and safety or the 
                environment.
          (3) Advisory committee review.--Upon issuance of any proposed 
        regulation under this Act, the appropriate Federal official 
        shall promptly submit such proposed regulation to the Advisory 
        Committee for its review. The Advisory Committee shall, within 
        90 days, submit comments advising the appropriate Federal 
        official whether the proposed regulation ensures adequate 
        protection of public health and safety and the environment and, 
        if not, proposing modifications to ensure such adequate 
        protection. Before issuance of a final regulation under this 
        Act, the appropriate Federal official shall consider and 
        respond in writing to comments and proposed modification 
        submitted by the Advisory Committee. If the appropriate Federal 
        official declines to adopt such proposed modifications, the 
        appropriate Federal official shall clearly and specifically 
        state the reasons for such decision in the final regulation.
          (4) Rulemaking dockets.--
                  (A) Establishment.--Not later than the date of 
                proposal of any regulation under this Act, the 
                appropriate Federal official shall establish a publicly 
                available rulemaking docket for such regulation.
                  (B) Documents included.--Promptly upon receipt by the 
                appropriate Federal official, all written comments and 
                documentary information on the proposed rule received 
                from any person for inclusion in the docket during the 
                comment period shall be placed in the docket. The 
                transcript of public hearings, if any, on the proposed 
                rule shall also be included in the docket promptly upon 
                receipt from the person who transcribed such hearings. 
                All documents which become available after the proposed 
                rule has been published and which the appropriate 
                Federal official determines are of central relevance to 
                the rulemaking shall be placed in the docket as soon as 
                possible after their availability.
                  (C) Documents submitted to the office of management 
                and budget.--The drafts of proposed rules submitted by 
                the appropriate Federal official to the Office of 
                Management and Budget for any interagency review 
                process prior to proposal of any such rule, all 
                documents accompanying such drafts, and all written 
                comments thereon by other agencies and all written 
                responses to such written comments by the appropriate 
                Federal official shall be placed in the docket no later 
                than the date of proposal of the rule. The drafts of 
                the final rule submitted for such review process prior 
                to issuance and all such written comments thereon, all 
                documents accompanying such drafts, and written 
                responses thereto shall be placed in the docket no 
                later than the date of issuance.
  (b) Interim Orders.--Prior to the issuance and effective date of 
initial regulations required pursuant to subsection (a)(1), the 
appropriate Federal official may issue an order applicable to one or 
more operators to ensure that such operator or operators--
          (1) have the capacity to prevent and respond to a blowout;
          (2) utilize safe and effective blowout preventers;
          (3) use safe casing designs and cementing programs and 
        procedures;
          (4) use appropriate and safe designs of wells;
          (5) use appropriate procedures and technologies to minimize 
        the risk of ignition or explosion of hydrocarbons or any other 
        material discharged from the well during a blowout or well 
        control event; and
          (6) take any other appropriate measure to maintain well 
        control and prevent blowouts.

SEC. 8. WELL CONTROL AND BLOWOUT PREVENTION INSPECTORS.

  The appropriate Federal official shall provide for periodic 
unannounced inspections by agency inspectors of drilling operations of 
covered wells to ensure that such operations comply with the 
regulations issued pursuant to this Act. The appropriate Federal 
official shall also provide for periodic in-person observation by 
agency inspectors of tests undertaken for recertification under section 
3. The appropriate Federal official may conduct inspections under this 
section at any time. The appropriate Federal official shall charge and 
collect fees from operators in amounts the appropriate Federal official 
determines are sufficient to cover reasonable costs of inspections 
under this section.

SEC. 9. JUDICIAL REVIEW OF REGULATIONS.

  Any person aggrieved by any regulation issued by the appropriate 
Federal official under this Act may seek judicial review of such 
regulation exclusively in the United States Court of Appeals for the 
District of Columbia Circuit. Any petition for review under this 
section shall be filed within 60 days from the date notice of the 
issuance of such regulation appears in the Federal Register, except 
that if such petition is based solely on grounds arising after such 
sixtieth day, then any such petition for review shall be filed within 
60 days after such grounds arise.

SEC. 10. INVESTIGATIONS AND INFORMATION REQUESTS.

  (a) Investigations.--The appropriate Federal official is authorized 
to conduct investigations of violations or alleged or suspected 
violations of this Act or of any regulation or order issued under this 
Act. In any investigation conducted under this section, the appropriate 
Federal official shall have the authority to summon witnesses and to 
require the production of books, papers, documents, and any other 
evidence. Attendance of witnesses or the production of books, papers, 
documents, or any other evidence shall be compelled by a similar 
process as in the district courts of the United States.
  (b) Information Requests.--The appropriate Federal official may 
require an operator or third-party certifier, or an employee or 
contractor thereof, to provide, on a one-time, periodic, or continuous 
basis, such information as the appropriate Federal official may 
reasonably require for the purpose of--
          (1) making any permitting or other regulatory determination, 
        issuing any order, or developing any regulation under this Act;
          (2) determining whether any person is in violation of this 
        Act or of any regulation or order issued under this Act; or
          (3) carrying out any other provision of this Act.

SEC. 11. CITIZEN SUITS.

  (a) In General.--Any person having a valid legal interest which is or 
may be adversely affected may commence a civil action in a Federal 
district court of appropriate jurisdiction on such person's own behalf 
to compel compliance with this Act, or any regulation or order issued 
under this Act, against any person, including the United States, and 
any other government instrumentality or agency (to the extent permitted 
by the eleventh amendment to the Constitution) for any alleged 
violation of any provision of this Act or any regulation or order 
issued under this Act.
  (b) Notice.--
          (1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), no 
        action may be commenced under subsection (a)--
                  (A) prior to 60 days after the plaintiff has given 
                notice of the alleged violation, in writing under oath, 
                to the appropriate Federal official, to the State in 
                which the violation allegedly occurred or is occurring, 
                and to any alleged violator; or
                  (B) if the Attorney General of the United States has 
                commenced and is diligently prosecuting a civil action 
                in a court of the United States or a State with respect 
                to such matter, but in any such action in a court of 
                the United States any person having a legal interest 
                which is or may be adversely affected may intervene as 
                a matter of right.
          (2) Exception.--An action may be brought under this 
        subsection immediately after notification of the alleged 
        violation in any case in which the alleged violation 
        constitutes an imminent threat to the public health or safety 
        or the environment or would immediately affect a legal interest 
        of the plaintiff.
  (c) Intervention.--In any action commenced pursuant to this section, 
the Attorney General of the United States, upon the request of the 
appropriate Federal official, may intervene as a matter of right.
  (d) Costs; Security.--A court, in issuing any final order in any 
action brought pursuant to this section, may award costs of litigation, 
including reasonable attorney and expert witness fees, to any party, 
whenever such court determines such award is appropriate. The court 
may, if a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction is 
sought, require the filing of a bond or equivalent security in a 
sufficient amount to compensate for any loss or damage suffered, in 
accordance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
  (e) Savings.--Nothing in this section shall restrict any right which 
any person or class of persons may have under any other Federal or 
State law or common law to seek appropriate relief.

SEC. 12. REMEDIES AND PENALTIES.

  (a) Injunctions and Restraining Orders.--At the request of the 
appropriate Federal official, the Attorney General of the United States 
or a United States attorney shall institute a civil action in the 
district court of the United States for the district in which the 
affected operation is located for a temporary restraining order, 
injunction, or other appropriate remedy to enforce any provision of 
this Act or any regulation, order, approval under section 2(b), or 
permit issued under this Act.
  (b) Civil Penalties; Hearing.--
          (1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), if any 
        person fails to comply with any provision of this Act or any 
        regulation, order, approval under section 2(b), or permit 
        issued under this Act, after notice of such failure and 
        expiration of any reasonable period allowed for corrective 
        action, such person shall be liable for a civil penalty of not 
        more than $75,000 for each day of the continuance of such 
        failure. The appropriate Federal official may assess, collect, 
        and compromise any such penalty. No penalty shall be assessed 
        until the person charged with a violation has been given an 
        opportunity for a hearing. The appropriate Federal official 
        shall, by regulation at least every 3 years, adjust the penalty 
        specified in this paragraph to reflect any increases in the 
        Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers.
          (2) Threat of serious irreparable or immediate harm.--If a 
        failure described in paragraph (1) constitutes or constituted a 
        threat of serious, irreparable, or immediate harm or damage to 
        life (including fish and other aquatic life), property, any 
        mineral deposit, or the marine, coastal, or human environment, 
        a civil penalty of not more than $150,000 shall be assessed for 
        each day of the continuance of the failure.
  (c) Criminal Penalties.--Any person who knowingly and willfully--
          (1) violates any provision of this Act, or any regulation, 
        order, approval under section 2(b), or permit issued under the 
        authority of this Act, designed to protect the public health 
        and safety or the environment;
          (2) makes any false statement, representation, or 
        certification in any application, record, report, or other 
        document filed or required to be maintained under this Act; or
          (3) falsifies, tampers with, or renders inaccurate any 
        monitoring device or method of record required to be maintained 
        under this Act,
shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than 
$10,000,000, or by imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both. 
Each day that a violation of paragraph (1) continues, or each day that 
any monitoring device or data recorder remains inoperative or 
inaccurate because of any activity described in paragraph (3), shall 
constitute a separate violation.
  (d) Liability of Corporate Officers and Agents for Violations by 
Corporation.--Whenever a corporation or other entity is subject to 
prosecution under subsection (c), any officer or agent of such 
corporation or entity who knowingly and willfully, or with willful 
disregard, authorized, ordered, or carried out the proscribed activity 
shall be subject to the same fines or imprisonment, or both, as 
provided for under subsection (c).
  (e) Concurrent and Cumulative Nature of Penalties.--The remedies and 
penalties prescribed in this Act shall be concurrent and cumulative and 
the exercise of one shall not preclude the exercise of the others. 
Further, the remedies and penalties prescribed in this Act shall be in 
addition to any other remedies and penalties afforded by any other law 
or regulation.

SEC. 13. RETALIATION PROHIBITED.

  (a) Prohibition.--No person or employer may discharge any employee or 
otherwise discriminate against any employee with respect to the 
employee's compensation, terms, conditions, or other privileges of 
employment because the employee (or any person acting pursuant to a 
request of the employee)--
          (1) notified the appropriate Federal official, a Federal or 
        State law enforcement or regulatory agency, or the employee's 
        employer of an alleged violation of this Act, or any 
        regulation, order, section 2(b) approval, or permit under this 
        Act, including notification of such an alleged violation 
        through communications related to carrying out the employee's 
        job duties;
          (2) refused to participate in any conduct that the employee 
        reasonably believes is in noncompliance with a requirement of 
        this Act, or any regulation, order, section 2(b) approval, or 
        permit under this Act, if the employee has identified the 
        alleged noncompliance to the employer;
          (3) testified before or otherwise provided information 
        relevant for Congress or for any Federal or State proceeding 
        regarding any provision (or proposed provision) of this Act;
          (4) commenced, caused to be commenced, or is about to 
        commence or cause to be commenced a proceeding under this Act;
          (5) testified or is about to testify in any such proceeding; 
        or
          (6) assisted or participated or is about to assist or 
        participate in any manner in such a proceeding or in any other 
        action to carry out the purposes of this Act.
  (b) Enforcement Action.--Any employee covered by this section who 
alleges discrimination by an employer in violation of subsection (a) 
may bring an action governed by the rules and procedures, legal burdens 
of proof, and remedies applicable under subsections (d) through (h) of 
section 20109 of title 49, United States Code. A party may seek 
district court review as set forth in subsection (d)(3) of such section 
not later than 90 days after receiving a written final determination by 
the Secretary of Labor.

SEC. 14. CHEMICAL SAFETY BOARD INVESTIGATION.

  Section 112(r)(6) of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7412(r)(6)) is 
amended by adding at the end the following:
                  ``(T) Agreement.--Not later than 30 days after the 
                date of enactment of this subparagraph, the Chemical 
                Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, the Coast Guard, 
                and the Department of the Interior shall enter into an 
                agreement in order to facilitate the Board's 
                investigation of the facts, circumstances, and causes 
                of an accidental fire, explosion, or release involving 
                an offshore oil or gas exploration or production 
                facility (regardless of whether there is a resulting 
                marine oil spill). Such agreement shall provide the 
                Board with the following:
                          ``(i) Unrestricted access to any personnel, 
                        records, witness statements, recorded witness 
                        interviews, and physical or documentary 
                        evidence related to an offshore oil or gas 
                        exploration or production facility under 
                        investigation collected or possessed by the 
                        Coast Guard or the Department of the Interior.
                          ``(ii) The ability to conduct recorded 
                        interviews of all agency personnel and 
                        contractors and the right to obtain records 
                        related to Federal regulatory, inspection, 
                        enforcement, and safety programs for offshore 
                        oil or gas exploration and production.
                          ``(iii) The right to participate equally in 
                        planning and executing any testing of relevant 
                        items of physical evidence related to the cause 
                        of the accident.
                          ``(iv) Such support and facilities as may be 
                        necessary for the Board's investigation, 
                        including transportation to the accident site, 
                        coastal waters and affected areas, and other 
                        offshore oil or gas exploration and production 
                        facilities without cost to the Board.
                  ``(U) Recommendations.--Based on an investigation of 
                an accidental fire, explosion, or release involving an 
                offshore oil or gas exploration or production facility, 
                the Board shall make recommendations with respect to 
                preventing subsequent accidental fires, explosions, or 
                releases to the Secretary of the Interior and the 
                Commandant of the Coast Guard. The Secretary of the 
                Interior and the Commandant of the Coast Guard shall 
                respond formally and in writing to any recommendation 
                of the Board within 90 days of the receipt of such 
                recommendations.''.

SEC. 15. STATE AND FEDERAL REGULATION.

  (a) State Plans.--Any State may submit to the appropriate Federal 
official a plan demonstrating that the State's regulatory regime meets 
the applicable standard under subsection (b) for effective regulation 
of oil or gas exploration or production wells located in such State.
  (b) Determination.--Upon receipt of a plan submitted by a State under 
subsection (a), and after notice and an opportunity for public comment, 
the appropriate Federal official shall promptly determine whether such 
State's regulatory regime--
          (1) in the case of offshore wells, establishes requirements 
        comparable to those applicable to covered wells under this Act, 
        or alternative requirements providing an equal or greater level 
        of safety as those applicable to covered wells under this Act; 
        and
          (2) in the case of onshore wells, effectively protects public 
        health and safety and the environment.
  (c) Opportunity to Remedy Deficiencies.--If the appropriate Federal 
official determines that the State regulatory regime does not meet the 
applicable standard under subsection (b), the appropriate Federal 
official shall identify the deficiencies that are the basis for such 
determination and provide a reasonable period of time for the State to 
remedy the deficiencies.
  (d) Ineffective Regulation.--If a State does not submit a plan 
pursuant to subsection (a), or if the appropriate Federal official 
determines that a State's regulatory regime does not meet the 
applicable requirements under subsection (b) and the State does not 
remedy the deficiencies, then such State shall be considered incapable 
of effectively regulating such wells for purposes of section 
17(10)(C)(iv).
  (e) Lack of State Concurrence.--(1) In the event a State does not 
concur in a determination under section 17(10)(C)(v) and the 
appropriate Federal official disagrees with the failure of the State to 
concur, the appropriate Federal official may decide to regulate wells 
as covered wells under this Act notwithstanding section 17(10)(C)(v) if 
the Federal official determines that the State's regulatory regime does 
not effectively protect public health and safety and the environment. 
If the State files a legal action under paragraph (2), the authority of 
the appropriate Federal official to regulate wells as covered wells 
under this subsection shall be stayed until the conclusion of the 
litigation, including any appeals.
  (2) A State may file an action in a Federal district court of 
appropriate jurisdiction challenging a decision by the appropriate 
Federal official to regulate wells as covered wells under this 
subsection. The standard of review of the decision of the appropriate 
Federal official shall be clear and convincing evidence.
  (f) Wells on Federal or Tribal Lands.--In the case of a well on 
Federal or tribal land, the appropriate Federal official shall 
determine whether the combination of the Federal, State, and tribal 
regulation applicable to such well effectively protects public health 
and safety and the environment. If the appropriate Federal official 
determines that the combination of Federal, State, and tribal 
regulation does not effectively protect public health and safety and 
the environment, then such well shall be considered not subject to 
effective regulation for purposes of section 17(10)(D)(iv).

SEC. 16. SAVINGS CLAUSE.

  Nothing in this Act shall be construed to preempt regulation by any 
State or local government of oil and gas exploration and production 
wells drilled in State waters, on State lands, or on private lands 
within that State pursuant to the laws of that State or local 
government.

SEC. 17. DEFINITIONS.

  In this Act:
          (1) Advisory committee.--The term ``Advisory Committee'' 
        means the Well Control Technical Advisory Committee established 
        pursuant to section 6(a).
          (2) Appropriate federal official.--The term ``appropriate 
        Federal official'' means the Secretary of Energy or Secretary 
        of the Interior, as designated for specific responsibilities 
        provided in this Act by the President of the United States.
          (3) Blind shear ram.--The term ``blind shear ram'' means a 
        device capable of cutting through a drill pipe and sealing a 
        well.
          (4) Blowout.--The term ``blowout'' means the uncontrolled 
        release of hydrocarbons or other materials from a well.
          (5) Blowout preventer.--The term ``blowout preventer'' means 
        a wellhead device or combination of devices designed and 
        intended to prevent a blowout.
          (6) Casing.--The term ``casing'' means any pipe permanently 
        installed, or intended to be permanently installed, in a well.
          (7) Casing shear ram.--The term ``casing shear ram'' means a 
        device capable of cutting through casing.
          (8) Cementing.--The term ``cementing'' means the practice of 
        forcing cement into the annular space between the casing and 
        the bore-hole or between any two pipes within the bore-hole to 
        prevent fluids or gases from finding a flow path through that 
        space.
          (9) Cement bond log.--The term ``cement bond log'' means a 
        test conducted, using acoustic signals or such other technology 
        as the appropriate Federal official may designate that provides 
        results of equal or better quality, to determine the integrity 
        and completeness of a cementing job for a given well or segment 
        of a well by determining the extent to which the cement has 
        filled annular spaces and bonded to pipes and surrounding 
        formations.
          (10) Covered well.--The term ``covered well'' means--
                  (A) an oil or gas exploration or production well that 
                is located on the outer Continental Shelf; or
                  (B) an offshore oil or gas exploration or production 
                well that--
                          (i) is not located on Federal or tribal land;
                          (ii) is not a marginal well;
                          (iii) based on criteria established by rule 
                        by the appropriate Federal official, could, in 
                        the event of a blowout, lead to extensive and 
                        widespread harm to public health and safety or 
                        the environment; and
                          (iv) is located in a State that the 
                        appropriate Federal official determines under 
                        section 15(d) cannot effectively regulate the 
                        well; or
                  (C) an onshore oil or gas exploration or production 
                well--
                          (i) that is not located on Federal land;
                          (ii) that is not a marginal well;
                          (iii) that, based on criteria established by 
                        rule by the apprpriate Federal official, could, 
                        in the event of a blowout, lead to extensive 
                        and widespread harm to public health and safety 
                        or the environment;
                          (iv) that is located in a State that the 
                        appropriate Federal official determines under 
                        section 15 cannot effectively regulate the 
                        well; and
                          (v) with respect to which the State concurs 
                        in the determination referred to in clause 
                        (iv); or
                  (D) an oil or gas exploration or production well 
                that--
                          (i) is located on Federal or tribal land;
                          (ii) is not a marginal well;
                          (iii) based on criteria established by rule 
                        by the appropriate Federal official, could, in 
                        the event of a blowout, lead to extensive and 
                        widespread harm to public health and safety or 
                        the environment; and
                          (iv) is determined by the appropriate Federal 
                        official under section 15(f) to be not subject 
                        to effective regulation.
          (11) Exploration well.--The term ``exploration well'' means a 
        well intended to determine whether economically recoverable 
        oil, natural gas, natural gas liquids, or other hydrocarbons 
        exist in the geological deposits or strata to or through which 
        the well is drilled.
          (12) Flow path.--The term ``flow path'' means a potential 
        route by which hydrocarbons or other materials could migrate 
        within a well.
          (13) Lockdown device.--The term ``lockdown device'' means a 
        device at the top of the wellbore designed to prevent upward 
        movement of casing after installation.
          (14) Marginal well.--The term ``marginal well'' means a 
        production well that produces no more than 10 barrels of oil 
        and no more than 60,000 cubic feet of natural gas per day.
          (15) Operator.--The term ``operator'' means, with respect to 
        a covered well, the owner or lessee of the rights to explore 
        for, or produce oil or gas through such well.
          (16) Outer continental shelf.--The term ``outer Continental 
        Shelf'' means all submerged lands lying seaward and outside of 
        the area of lands beneath navigable waters as defined in 
        section 2 of the Submerged Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1301), and of 
        which the subsoil and seabed appertain to the United States and 
        are subject to its jurisdiction and control.
          (17) Pressure testing.--The term ``pressure testing'' means 
        testing under conditions of elevated hydrostatic pressure 
        generated by natural or artificial means to determine well 
        integrity, the effectiveness of cementing, or the effectiveness 
        of equipment used in the well or to drill the well.
          (18) Production well.--The term ``production well'' means a 
        well which is being drilled to allow the production of oil, 
        natural gas, natural gas liquids, or other hydrocarbons.
          (19) ROV.--The term ``ROV'' is an acronym for Remotely 
        Operated Vehicle, and means an unmanned, remotely operated, 
        submersible device that is capable of relaying images or 
        information, manipulating or operating various elements of a 
        blowout preventer or other equipment on the seabed, or 
        performing other subsea functions.
          (20) Subsea blowout preventer.--The term ``subsea blowout 
        preventer'' means a blowout preventer installed on an offshore 
        well below the surface of the water.
          (21) System integration test.--The term ``system integration 
        test'' means a test of the various elements of a blowout 
        preventer, equipment associated with the use of such preventer, 
        and the controls of the blowout preventer, as combined and 
        configured for operation.
          (22) Well control event.--The term ``well control event'' 
        means a blowout or any event that threatens, if not controlled, 
        to result in a blowout.

SEC. 18. STUDY ON RELIEF WELLS.

  Not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the 
appropriate Federal official shall enter into an arrangement with the 
National Academy of Engineering under which the Academy shall, not 
later than 1 year after such arrangement is entered into, submit to the 
appropriate Federal official and to Congress a report that assesses the 
economic, safety, and environmental impacts of requiring that 1 or more 
relief wells be drilled in tandem with the drilling of some or all 
covered wells subject to the requirements of this Act.

SEC. 19. REPORT ON PENDING FEDERAL DRILLING APPLICATIONS.

  Within 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the 
appropriate Federal official shall report to Congress on the status of 
all pending Federal drilling and drilling-related applications and 
permits, the amount of time that these applications and permits have 
been pending, and any reasons for delay in approval.

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 5626, the ``Blowout Prevention Act of 2010'', was 
introduced by Reps. Henry A. Waxman (D-CA), Edward J. Markey 
(D-MA), and Bart Stupak (D-MI) on June 29, 2010. The purpose of 
H.R. 5626 is to protect public health and safety and the 
environment by requiring the use of safe well control 
technologies and drilling practices for covered oil and gas 
exploration and production wells.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    On April 20, 2010, at about 10 p.m., an explosion occurred 
on the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig, which was drilling a 
well in BP's Macondo Prospect, approximately 40 miles south of 
the Louisiana coast in the Gulf of Mexico. There were 126 
people on the rig at the time of the explosion. Fifteen of 
those were injured and 11 died. The Coast Guard responded to 
the explosion and fire, which caused the rig to sink and 
resulted in the ongoing blowout.
    In the wake of this tragedy, serious questions have been 
raised about the causes of the explosion and the adequacy of 
industry practices and regulatory standards relating to oil and 
gas drilling. Ongoing investigations are being conducted by a 
Marine Board of Investigation (a joint effort under the Coast 
Guard and the Department of the Interior (DOI)), a Presidential 
Commission, the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation 
Board, and several congressional committees, including the 
Committee on Energy and Commerce.
    The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the 
Committee on Energy and Commerce held three hearings on the 
explosion and blowout.\1\ The Subcommittee's investigation 
revealed that BP appears to have made numerous key decisions 
that increased the risk of a well control problem and may have 
contributed to the Deepwater Horizon disaster.\2\ Based on that 
investigation, it appears that the following occurred: BP chose 
a well design that had only two barriers to prevent flow of 
dangerous gases instead of using a design that had multiple 
barriers; BP ignored the advice of its contractor, Halliburton, 
and chose a cement sealing approach for the well that was 
predicted to fail; BP failed to conduct a key test to evaluate 
the sufficiency of the cementing job; BP failed to fully 
circulate well fluids to facilitate better cementing; and BP 
did not install a key piece of equipment at the wellhead prior 
to the explosion. Several of these steps, though considered to 
be industry best practices, are not mandated under current law. 
All of these decisions appear to have saved time and money for 
BP, but increased risks.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Hearing on Inquiry 
into the Gulf Coast Oil Spill (May 12, 2010); Hearing on Local Impact 
of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill (June 7, 2010); Hearing on the Role 
of BP in the Deepwater Horizon Explosion and Oil Spill (June 17, 2010).
    \2\Letter from Reps. Henry A. Waxman and Bart Stupak to Tony 
Hayward, Chief Executive Officer of BP (June 14, 2010).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well Control Issues

    Perhaps the most critical safety issue with regard to oil 
and gas drilling is the maintenance of ``well control''--i.e. 
control over conditions in the well bore, where high pressures 
threaten to drive oil and gas toward the surface from 
subsurface formations. If these pressurized hydrocarbons cannot 
be controlled, they may reach the surface and cause a fire or 
explosion. On the Deepwater Horizon, an uncontrolled influx of 
gas into the well is believed to have caused an uncontrolled 
``blowout'' and the ensuing explosion.
    Current drilling technology uses a number of lines of 
defense to prevent the loss of well control: (1) the 
circulation of heavy drilling ``mud'' through the well, which 
helps to equalize pressure and prevent uncontrolled upward flow 
of hydrocarbons; (2) the use of cement and mechanical barriers 
in and around steel casing (which lines the well and forms the 
conduit between the hydrocarbon reservoir and the surface) 
preventing unintentional upward flow of oil and gas. During 
drilling operations, wells are equipped with a blowout 
preventer, which includes a series of devices for use to assist 
in regaining control of the well during a well control event 
threatening a blowout and to shut in the wellbore in a blowout 
or in other emergencies.

Blowout Preventers

    A blowout preventer is a piece of equipment installed at 
the wellhead and designed to prevent an uncontrolled release of 
hydrocarbons from a well. It consists of several independent 
systems that may be used to ensure well control, which may 
include:
          --Annular Preventers, which seal the wellbore with a 
        variable-width rubber aperture that can close on itself 
        or around any pipe that may be strung through the 
        wellbore;
          --Variable Bore Rams, which seal around drill pipe 
        with rubber-tipped steel blocks;
          --Blind Shear Rams, the well-control mechanism of 
        last resort, designed to cut through drill pipe and 
        seal the well during an emergency; and
          --``Casing'' or ``Super'' Shear Rams, which are 
        designed to cut through casing or other obstructions 
        that may be present in the wellbore, allowing blind 
        shear rams to close and seal the well during an 
        emergency.
    Because the blowout preventer is intended to provide a 
failsafe last-resort well control and shut in capability that 
must function in an emergency, blowout preventers are often 
designed with redundant equipment and control systems, to 
ensure that at least one set of emergency systems is always 
functional. In numerous cases, however, blowout preventers have 
failed to operate. The blowout preventer installed on the 
Macondo well failed to control the blowout.
    The Committee identified several potential problems that 
might have resulted in this failure. According to a 2004 report 
commissioned by the Minerals Management Service, blind shear 
rams are not designed to cut through drill pipe tool joints, 
the thick-walled connections between sections of pipe.\3\ 
Casing shear rams also may not cut through tool joints. These 
tool joints may take up as much as 10% of a pipe's length. The 
use of redundant shear rams could eliminate this risk, ensuring 
that there is always one shear ram that is not opposite a tool 
joint. But DOI regulations currently do not require redundant 
blind shear rams and casing shear rams. The Deepwater Horizon 
included only one of each of these rams.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\West Engineering Services, Shear Ram Capabilities Study (Sept. 
2004) (online at http://www.mms.gov/tarprojects/463/
%28463%29%20West%20Engineering%20Final%20Report.pdf).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Blowout preventers usually include one or more emergency 
backup (or secondary control) systems, including a system 
commonly called a ``deadman switch,'' to close the blind shear 
rams and seal the well in case of a loss of communication with 
the drilling rig. In order for the deadman switch on the 
Deepwater Horizon to be activated, three separate lines from 
the rig to the blowout preventer had to be severed: power, 
communication, and hydraulics. If any one of those lines 
remained active, the deadman switch would not have been 
triggered even though the blind shear rams could not be 
activated from the surface. The Deepwater Horizon also did not 
have an acoustic backup switch, which might have been able to 
activate the blowout preventer remotely from the surface.
    Offshore drilling operators rely on remote-operated 
vehicles (ROV) to activate blowout preventers as a last resort. 
These unmanned, submersible vehicles travel to the bottom of 
the ocean and can directly trigger blowout preventers via an 
interface on the blowout preventer. The Deepwater Horizon's 
blowout preventer, however, never sealed the well even after 
many days of ROV intervention.
    The Committee also learned that there were several issues 
with the Deepwater Horizon's maintenance of its blowout 
preventer system. There are no DOI regulations requiring 
testing of emergency systems, and BP did not conduct such 
tests. ROVs discovered several leaks in the hydraulic lines 
that provide pressure for blowout preventer functions, and 
found unexpected modifications to the original design of the 
blowout preventer. These problems resulted in wasted time in 
the critical days following the accident and might have 
contributed to the initial failure of the blowout preventer.

Well Design, Fluid Circulation and Displacement, and Cementing 
        Practices

    The Committee's investigation also uncovered several issues 
concerning decisions BP made in regard to the design and 
execution of the Macondo well plan.
    The Macondo well was designed with a ``long string'' 
production casing that extended from the sea floor down to the 
reservoir from which oil was to be produced. This well design 
left only two barriers along one flow path through which 
hydrocarbons could flow between the reservoir and the blowout 
preventer: a layer of cement at the bottom of the well, and a 
mechanical seal at the wellhead itself. Another design, a 
``liner-tieback'' approach, would have made a blowout less 
likely by incorporating four barriers between the reservoir and 
the blowout preventer: two mechanical seals and two layers of 
cement.
    Installing a ``lockdown sleeve'' on the mechanical seal at 
the wellhead would have reinforced the wellhead against 
pressure from below as well as pressure from above. This 
lockdown sleeve was never installed on the Macondo well, even 
though drillers on the Deepwater Horizon began procedures that 
would have put upward pressure on the wellhead seal.
    Because the Macondo well was designed with a long string 
casing, it was critically important that the cement job at the 
bottom of the well successfully seal off the reservoir. But 
there were several issues concerning BP's final cement job: BP 
ran casing with fewer ``centralizers'' than its cementing 
contractor predicted would be sufficient to ensure an even seal 
around the entire casing; it failed to circulate drilling mud 
throughout the well before cementing, in accordance with 
industry best practices; and it failed to run a cement bond log 
test, which could have uncovered failures or imperfections in 
the bonded cement.

DOI Actions

    In addition to the investigations referenced above, the 
President ordered the Secretary of the Interior to review the 
accident and propose additional precautions and technologies 
that should be required to improve the safety of offshore oil 
and gas drilling. The findings of this review were published on 
May 27, 2010, in a document commonly referred to as the 
Department of Interior's ``30-day Report.''\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\Department of the Interior, Increased Safety Measures for Energy 
Development on the Outer Continental Shelf (May 27, 2010) (online at 
http://www.doi.gov/deepwaterhorizon/loader.cfm?csModule=security/
getfile&PageID;=33598).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The 30-day report offered recommendations for improving 
offshore drilling safety. DOI implements many of the 
recommendations in a Notice to Lessees issued on June 8, 
2010.\5\ The Notice to Lessees contained several new safety 
requirements, including:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\Department of the Interior, National Notice to Lessees and 
Operators of Federal Oil and Gas Leases, Outer Continental Shelf (June 
8, 2010) (NTL No. 2010-N05) (online at http://www.doi.gov/
deepwaterhorizon/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&PageID;=34536).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Certification by the operator's chief 
        executive officers that the operator is in compliance 
        with applicable regulations;
           Independent third-party inspection and 
        certification of blowout preventers;
           Requirements for emergency blowout preventer 
        emergency shut-in systems;
           Requirements that blowout preventers must be 
        capable of being operated by Remotely Operated 
        Vehicles;
           Blowout preventer inspection and testing 
        after use during a well control event;
           Verification that blowout preventer blind 
        shear rams can shear the drill pipe;
           Requirements for a casing hanger lockdown 
        mechanism; and
           Requirements for dual mechanical barriers in 
        addition to a cement barrier to prevent well flow 
        during installation of the final casing string.
    Some of the longer-term recommendations of the 30-day 
report were not included in the Notice to Lessees, including:
           Mandatory redundant blind shear rams to 
        prevent failure if a drill pipe joint is across one 
        ram;
           Requirements for documentation of blowout 
        preventer maintenance and repair;
           Blowout preventer testing to ensure full 
        operability of all functions; and
           Federal inspection of drilling rigs, 
        including in-person observation of tests on blowout 
        prevention equipment.

                          Legislative History

    H.R. 5626, the Blowout Prevention Act of 2010, was 
introduced by Representatives Waxman, Markey, and Stupak on 
June 29, 2010, and referred to the Committee on Natural 
Resources, and in addition to the Committee on Energy and 
Commerce. On June 30, 2010, H.R. 5626 was referred to the 
Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, which held a 
legislative hearing on the bill the same day. H.R. 5626 was 
subsequently considered by the full Committee without markup in 
Subcommittee.

                        Committee Consideration

    On July 15, 2010, the Committee on Energy and Commerce met 
in open markup session to consider H.R. 5626. A manager's 
amendment in the form of an amendment in the nature of a 
substitute was offered by Mr. Waxman. The Committee adopted 
several amendments to the manager's amendment by voice vote, 
and then agreed to the amendment in the nature of a substitute, 
as amended, by a voice vote. Subsequently, the Committee 
ordered H.R. 5626 favorably reported to the House, amended, by 
a record vote of 48-0 (1 member voting ``present'').

                            Committee Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list each record vote 
on the motion to report legislation and amendments thereto. A 
motion by Mr. Waxman ordering H.R. 5652 reported to the House, 
amended, was approved by a record vote of 48 yeas and 0 nays (1 
member voting ``present''). The following is the record vote 
taken during Committee consideration, including the names of 
those members voting for and against:


            Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the findings and 
recommendations of the Committee are reflected in the 
descriptive portions of this report.

   New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures

    Regarding compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of 
the Rules of the House of Representatives, the Committee will 
rely on the estimate prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office pursuant to section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, which at the time of the 
filing of this report had not been completed.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    Clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives does not apply to H.R. 5626 as the bill does 
not authorize funding.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee finds that the 
constitutional authority for H.R. 5626 is provided in Article 
I, section 8, clauses 3 and 18.

                  Earmarks and Tax and Tariff Benefits

    H.R. 5626 does not contain any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives.

                  Federal Advisory Committee Statement

    The Committee finds that the legislation establishes or 
authorizes the establishment of an advisory committee within 
the meaning of section 5 U.S.C. App., 5(b) of the Federal 
Advisory Committee Act. Section 6 of H.R. 5626 as ordered 
reported by the Committee provides for the creation of a Well 
Control Technical Advisory Committee. The Committee finds that 
this advisory committee is needed to assess blowout preventer 
and well control technologies, practices, voluntary standards, 
and regulations in the United States and elsewhere, to assess 
whether existing standards adequately protect public health and 
safety and the environment, and, as appropriate, to recommend 
modifications to existing regulations.

             Applicability of Law to the Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that H.R. 5626 does not relate to the 
terms and conditions of employment or access to public services 
or accommodations within the meaning of section 102(b)(3) of 
the Congressional Accountability Act of 1985.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    Regarding the requirements of section 423 of the 
Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 (as 
amended by section 101(a)(2) of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act, P.L. 104-4), the Committee will rely on the analysis 
prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office, 
which at the time of the filing of this report had not been 
completed.

                        Committee Cost Estimate

    Pursuant to clause 3(d) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee will adopt as its own 
the cost estimate on H.R. 5626 prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office pursuant to section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act. At the time of the filing of this 
report, this estimate had not been completed.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    With respect to the requirements of clause (3)(c)(3) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the 
Committee has not yet received a cost estimate for H.R. 5626 
from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office.

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation


Section 1. Short title

    This section provides that the Act may be cited as the 
``Blowout Prevention Act of 2010''.

Section 2. No drilling of covered wells without demonstrated ability to 
        prevent and contain leaks

    Subsection (a) provides that, effective one year after the 
date of enactment, a federal permit to drill a covered well 
shall not be issued unless the applicant demonstrates, the CEO 
of applicant attests, and the appropriate federal official (the 
Secretary of the Interior or Secretary of Energy, as determined 
by the President) determines that (1) the well design is safe; 
(2) the blowout preventer has redundant systems to prevent or 
stop a blowout for all foreseeable blowout scenarios and 
failure modes; (3) the applicant has an oil spill response plan 
that ensures the applicant has the capacity to promptly control 
and stop a blowout if the blowout preventer and other well 
control measures fail, and (4) the applicant has the capacity 
to begin drilling a relief well promptly and complete drilling 
of a relief well expeditiously.
    Subsection (b) requires an operator to meet the same 
requirements as those in subsection (a) in order to obtain 
federal approval to drill a covered well that does not 
currently require a federal permit. This approval function can 
be delegated to states.
    Subsection (c) provides that a permit or approval issued 
under this section shall require the operator to seek a 
revision of such permit or approval in the event of a material 
modification to the well design, blowout preventer, plan to 
promptly stop a blowout, or capability to begin or complete 
drilling of a relief well for such covered well.

Section 3. Blowout preventer requirements

    Subsection (a) requires the appropriate federal official to 
issue regulations to require the use of a blowout preventer for 
a covered well and to prescribe safety standards that require 
that the blowout preventer will operate effectively at the 
location it will be deployed. At a minimum, the regulations 
must include the following requirements: (1) two sets of blind 
shear rams appropriately spaced to prevent blowout preventer 
failure if a drill pipe joint or drill tool is across one set 
of blind shear rams during a situation that threatens loss of 
well control; (2) redundant emergency backup control systems 
capable of activating the blowout preventer when the rig, or 
critical links between the rig and the blowout preventer, are 
destroyed or inoperable; (3) regular testing of the emergency 
backup control systems, including testing during deployment; 
and (4) as appropriate, remotely operated vehicle intervention 
capabilities for secondary control, including adequate 
hydraulic capacity to activate blind shear rams, casing shear 
rams, and other critical blowout preventer components.
    This section also requires studies and recommendations by 
the Well Control Technical Advisory Committee (established 
under section 6) regarding (1) whether the use of up to two 
sets of casing shear rams would improve the safety of blowout 
preventer systems at covered wells; (2) the risks associated 
with the failure of hydraulic and activation systems for the 
blind shear rams and other critical blowout preventer 
components and the need for redundancy in blowout preventer 
components; and (3) the risk associated with non-subsea blowout 
preventers at offshore wells in the event the drilling rig for 
such well is damaged or destroyed, the riser or other well 
component between the wellbore and the blowout preventer is 
damaged or destroyed, or the blowout preventer is rendered 
inoperative. If, based on any recommendation of the Advisory 
Committee resulting from these studies, the appropriate federal 
official determines that safety would be significantly improved 
by requiring additional measures to mitigate risks, the 
appropriate federal official shall include such requirements in 
the regulations issued under the Act.
    If the appropriate federal official determines that one of 
the minimum requirements under this section would be less 
effective than an alternative technology or practice for all 
covered wells, or for one or more classes of covered wells, the 
alternative technology or practice may instead be required.
    Subsection (b) requires independent third-party 
certification of a blowout preventer prior to drilling a 
covered well. The certification is based on a detailed physical 
inspection, design review, system integration test, and 
function and pressure testing. The certification ensures, based 
on the third-party certifier's best professional judgment, that 
(1) the blowout preventer is properly designed for and will 
operate effectively for the drilling conditions, and with the 
equipment, well design, and location where it will be 
installed; (2) blind shear rams and casing shear rams will 
function effectively and cut the drill pipe or casing; (3) 
emergency control systems will function effectively; and (4) 
the blowout preventer has not been compromised or damaged from 
prior service. Recertification is required every 180 days or 
after any material modification to the blowout preventer or 
design of the well.
    Subsection (c) requires prompt function and pressure 
testing of a blowout preventer at a covered well after a 
significant well control event to ensure full operability of 
all blowout preventer functions.
    Subsection (d) includes reporting requirements for blowout 
preventer maintenance and repair, electronic logs, design 
specifications, changes to design specifications, and failure 
during a well control event.

Section 4. Ensuring safe wells and cementing

    Subsection (a) requires regulations to ensure the 
appropriate and safe design of covered wells. The regulations 
shall (1) in connection with installation of the final casing 
string, require the installation of at least two independent, 
tested mechanical barriers, in addition to a cement barrier, 
across each flow path between hydrocarbon bearing formations 
and the blowout preventer; (2) require that wells be designed 
so that a failure of one barrier does not significantly 
increase the likelihood of failure of another barrier; (3) 
require that the casing design is appropriate for the intended 
purpose under reasonably expected wellbore conditions; and (4) 
require the installation and pressure testing of a lockdown 
device at the time casing is installed in the wellhead.
    Subsection (b) requires regulations for cementing programs 
of covered wells to ensure that well control will be maintained 
and there will be no unintended flow of hydrocarbons. At a 
minimum, the regulations shall require adequate centralization 
of the casing, a full circulation of drilling fluids prior to 
cementing, the use of adequate cement volume, and cement bond 
logs for all cementing programs intended to provide a barrier 
to hydrocarbon flow.
    Subsection (c) requires the well operator to maintain a 
team of experienced and highly qualified engineers and other 
appropriate experts to advise the operator on the safety of 
decisions made during drilling of the well.
    Subsection (d) requires regulations to establish procedures 
and technologies to be used to minimize the risk of ignition 
and explosion of hydrocarbons or other materials discharged 
from the well during a blowout or well control event.
    Under subsection (e), if the appropriate federal official 
determines that one of the minimum requirements under this 
section would be less effective than an alternative technology 
or practice for all covered wells, or for one or more classes 
of covered wells, the alternative technology or practice may 
instead be required.
    Subsection (f) requires independent third-party 
certification, prior to the commencement of drilling, that the 
covered well meets the requirements of this section, and that, 
in the independent third party's best professional judgment, 
the operator's casing designs and cementing programs and 
procedures ensure that well control will be maintained. 
Recertification is required after any material modification of 
the well design.

Section 5. Stop-work requirements

    This section requires regulations to establish requirements 
(1) for operators and contractors to stop non-safety-related 
work when there are conditions indicating an immediate risk of 
a blowout at a covered well and (2) that operators adopt 
policies and procedures to promote a safety culture and to 
ensure that non-safety-related work stops in circumstances that 
present an immediate risk of a blowout.

Section 6. Independent technical advice and certification

    Subsection (a) provides for the establishment of an 
independent Well Control Technical Advisory Committee to review 
and comment on proposed regulations, respond to requests for 
advice from the appropriate federal official, provide reports 
assessing implementation of this Act, and provide periodic 
reports at least once every five years (1) assessing available 
blowout preventer and well control technologies, practices, 
voluntary standards, and regulations in the United States and 
elsewhere, (2) assessing whether existing regulations are 
adequate, and (3) recommending modifications to the 
regulations. The Federal Advisory Committee Act (other than 
section 14 of the Act) shall apply to the Advisory Committee.
    Subsection (b) requires the appropriate federal official to 
establish standards for the approval of independent third-party 
certifiers. The appropriate federal official will contract 
directly with the third-party certifiers and assign third-party 
certifiers to individual certifications and recertifications. 
The appropriate federal official shall ensure that a third-
party certifier is appropriately qualified for each 
certification or recertification to which it is assigned and 
that reviews, inspections, and tests are timely performed. 
Operators shall pay fees to cover the costs of these 
activities. It shall be a violation of this Act for any third-
party certifier to knowingly or recklessly make any false 
statement in any document submitted in connection with a 
certification or recertification.
    Subsection (c) allows for the establishment of a panel of 
independent technical experts to provide technical advice to 
the appropriate federal official with regard to any well-
specific regulatory decision under this Act. Such experts may 
be drawn from academia, national laboratories, industry, or 
other sources.

Section 7. Regulations and orders

    Subsection (a) requires the appropriate federal official to 
issue the regulations required by this Act not later than 1 
year after the date of enactment. At least once every 5 years, 
the appropriate federal official shall review the regulations 
and the recommendations of the Advisory Committee and revise 
the regulations if they do not adequately protect public health 
and safety and the environment.
    Subsection (b) authorizes the appropriate federal official, 
prior to the effective date of the initial regulations required 
by this Act, to issue interim orders applicable to one or more 
operators to require the operator to have the capacity to 
prevent and respond to a blowout; use safe and effective 
blowout preventers, casing designs, cementing programs and 
procedures, and well designs; and use appropriate procedures 
and technologies to minimize the risk of ignition or explosion 
in the event of a blowout or well control event.

Section 8. Well control and blowout prevention inspectors

    This section requires periodic unannounced inspections and 
in-person observation of tests by federal inspectors, as well 
as the charging of fees from operators to cover the associated 
costs.

Section 9. Judicial review of regulations

    This section provides for judicial review of regulations 
issued by the appropriate federal official under this Act 
exclusively in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of 
Columbia Circuit. Any such petition for review shall be filed 
within 60 days from the date notice of the issuance of the 
regulation appears in the Federal Register, except that if the 
petition is based solely on grounds arising after such sixtieth 
day, then any such petition for review shall be filed within 60 
days after such grounds arise.

Section 10. Investigations and information requests

    This section provides for the investigation of alleged or 
suspected violations of this Act and for the gathering of 
information needed to implement this Act.

Section 11. Citizen suits

    The section provides for citizen suits to compel compliance 
with this Act.

Section 12. Remedies and penalties

    This section provides for enforcements of the provisions of 
this Act and regulations, orders, approvals under section 2(b), 
and permits issued under this Act through (1) civil actions for 
temporary restraining orders or injunctions, (2) civil 
penalties for noncompliance, and (3) criminal penalties for 
knowing and willful violations.

Section 13. Retaliation prohibited

    This section prohibits retaliation against whistleblower 
employees, including those who report violations of this Act or 
refuse to participate in conduct that is not in compliance with 
this Act.

Section 14. Chemical Safety Board investigation

    This section amends the Clean Air Act to facilitate the 
investigation of the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation 
Board into the facts, circumstances, and causes of marine oil 
spills resulting from accidental fire, explosion, or release 
involving an offshore oil or gas exploration or production 
facility.

Section 15. State and Federal regulation

    This section relates to the determination of which wells 
are covered wells subject to the requirements of this Act. It 
allows any state to submit to the appropriate federal official 
a plan demonstrating that the state's regulatory regime 
provides effective regulation of oil or gas exploration or 
production wells located in such state. In order to meet such 
standard for offshore wells not located on the outer 
Continental Shelf, the state must show that it has established 
requirements comparable to those applicable to covered wells 
under this Act, or alternative requirements providing an equal 
or greater level of safety. In order to meet such standard for 
onshore wells not located on federal or tribal land, the state 
must show that it has established regulations applicable to 
such wells to effectively protect public health and safety and 
the environment. In the case of wells on federal or tribal 
land, the appropriate federal official shall determine whether 
the combination of the federal, state, and tribal regulation 
applicable to such wells effectively protects public health and 
safety and the environment.
    If the appropriate federal official determines that a state 
regulatory regime does not meet the applicable standard, the 
appropriate federal official shall identify the deficiencies 
that are the basis for such determination and provide a 
reasonable period of time for the state to remedy the 
deficiencies. In the event a state does not concur in the 
appropriate federal official's finding that the state cannot 
effectively regulate an onshore well not located on federal or 
tribal land, the appropriate federal official may decide to 
regulate such well as a covered well under this Act. The state 
may file a legal action challenging such a decision. If the 
state files such a legal action, the authority of the 
appropriate federal official to regulate such wells as covered 
wells shall be stayed until the conclusion of the litigation, 
including any appeals. The judicial standard of review of the 
decision of the appropriate federal official shall be a clear 
and convincing evidence standard.

Section 16. Savings clause

    This section provides that nothing in this Act shall be 
construed to preempt state or local regulation of oil and gas 
exploration and production wells drilled in state waters, on 
state lands, or on private lands.

Section 17. Definitions

    This section provides definitions of key terms in the Act.
    A ``covered well'' is defined as: (A) an oil or gas 
exploration or production well that is located on the Outer 
Continental Shelf; or (B) an offshore oil or gas exploration or 
production well that (1) is not located on federal or tribal 
land; (2) is not a marginal well; (3) based on criteria 
established by rule by the appropriate federal official, could, 
in the event of a blowout, lead to extensive and widespread 
harm to public health and safety or the environment; and (4) is 
located in a state that the appropriate federal official 
determines under section 15 cannot effectively regulate the 
well; or (C) an onshore oil or gas exploration or production 
well that (1) is not located on federal or tribal land; (2) is 
not a marginal well; (3) based on criteria established by rule 
by the appropriate federal official, could, in the event of a 
blowout lead to extensive and widespread harm to public health 
and safety or the environment; (4) is located in a state that 
the appropriate federal official determines under section 15 
cannot effectively regulate the well; and (5) with respect to 
which the state concurs in the appropriate federal official's 
finding that the state cannot effectively regulate the well; or 
(D) an oil or gas exploration or production well that (1) is 
located on federal or tribal land; (2) is not a marginal well; 
(3) based on criteria established by rule by the appropriate 
federal official, could, in the event of a blowout lead to 
extensive and widespread harm to public health and safety or 
the environment; and (4) is determined by the appropriate 
federal official under section 15 to be not subject to 
effective regulation.
    The Committee intends that ``extensive and widespread 
harm'' means large-scale and geographically widespread 
ecological and economic harm of the magnitude caused by the 
Santa Barbara, Exxon Valdez, Ixtoc, Montara, or Deepwater 
Horizon spills. The Committee intends that ``tribal lands'' 
means land belonging to a federally recognized Indian tribe or 
a member thereof that is held in trust by the United States, or 
land held in fee by a federally recognized Indian tribe or a 
member thereof, that is subject to the regulatory jurisdiction 
of a federally recognized Indian tribe or of the federal 
government with regard to oil or gas drilling operations.
    A marginal well is defined as a production well that 
produces no more than 10 barrels of oil and no more than 60,000 
cubic feet of natural gas per day.

Section 18. Study on relief wells

    Under this section, within 60 days of the date of enactment 
of this Act, the appropriate federal official shall enter in an 
arrangement with the National Academy of Engineering under 
which the Academy shall, not later than 1 year after such 
arrangement is entered into, submit to the appropriate federal 
official and Congress a report that assesses the economic, 
safety, and environmental impacts of requiring 1 or more relief 
wells to be drilled in tandem with some or all covered wells. 
It is the intent of the Committee that such study would include 
an examination of the experience of other countries with 
comparable requirements.

Section 19. Report on pending federal drilling applications

    Under this section, within 30 days of enactment of this 
Act, the appropriate federal official shall report to Congress 
on the status of all pending federal drilling and drilling-
related applications and permits, the amount of time that these 
applications and permits have been pending, and any reasons for 
delay in approval.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (new matter is 
printed in italic and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

                             CLEAN AIR ACT




           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
TITLE I--AIR POLLUTION PREVENTION AND CONTROL

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



Part A--Air Quality and Emission Limitations

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SEC. 112. HAZARDOUS AIR POLLUTANTS.

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (r) Prevention of Accidental Releases.--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (6) Chemical safety board.--
                  (A) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  (T) Agreement.--Not later than 30 days after 
                the date of enactment of this subparagraph, the 
                Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, 
                the Coast Guard, and the Department of the 
                Interior shall enter into an agreement in order 
                to facilitate the Board's investigation of the 
                facts, circumstances, and causes of an 
                accidental fire, explosion, or release 
                involving an offshore oil or gas exploration or 
                production facility (regardless of whether 
                there is a resulting marine oil spill). Such 
                agreement shall provide the Board with the 
                following:
                          (i) Unrestricted access to any 
                        personnel, records, witness statements, 
                        recorded witness interviews, and 
                        physical or documentary evidence 
                        related to an offshore oil or gas 
                        exploration or production facility 
                        under investigation collected or 
                        possessed by the Coast Guard or the 
                        Department of the Interior.
                          (ii) The ability to conduct recorded 
                        interviews of all agency personnel and 
                        contractors and the right to obtain 
                        records related to Federal regulatory, 
                        inspection, enforcement, and safety 
                        programs for offshore oil or gas 
                        exploration and production.
                          (iii) The right to participate 
                        equally in planning and executing any 
                        testing of relevant items of physical 
                        evidence related to the cause of the 
                        accident.
                          (iv) Such support and facilities as 
                        may be necessary for the Board's 
                        investigation, including transportation 
                        to the accident site, coastal waters 
                        and affected areas, and other offshore 
                        oil or gas exploration and production 
                        facilities without cost to the Board.
                  (U) Recommendations.--Based on an 
                investigation of an accidental fire, explosion, 
                or release involving an offshore oil or gas 
                exploration or production facility, the Board 
                shall make recommendations with respect to 
                preventing subsequent accidental fires, 
                explosions, or releases to the Secretary of the 
                Interior and the Commandant of the Coast Guard. 
                The Secretary of the Interior and the 
                Commandant of the Coast Guard shall respond 
                formally and in writing to any recommendation 
                of the Board within 90 days of the receipt of 
                such recommendations.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *