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Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement

Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW., Washington, DC 20240


DIRECTOR *Kevin M. Sligh, Sr.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement promotes safety, protects the environment, and conserves resources offshore by overseeing the regulatory process and enforcing Federal rules and regulations.


In April of 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and resulting oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico exposed inadequacies in the Federal offshore energy regulatory system. In response to the disaster, former Secretary of the Interior Kenneth L. Salazar issued two secretarial orders. On May 19, 2010, he issued Order 3299 "to separate and reassign the responsibilities that had been conducted by the Minerals Management Service [MMS] into new management structures that will improve the management, oversight, and accountability of activities on the Outer Continental Shelf [OCS]."

Within the Department of the Interior, Order 3299 initiated the establishment of the new Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), whose director would report to the Assistant Secretary–Land and Minerals Management. The order also initiated the establishment of the new Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), whose director also would report to the same Assistant Secretary. A third new agency, the Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR), formerly the MMS's minerals revenue management program, would be established within the Department, and its director would report to the Assistant Secretary–Policy, Management and Budget.

On June 18, 2010, former Secretary Salazar issued Order 3302, which announced that the MMS would be renamed the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) for the duration of the reorganization period.

On October 1, 2010, the functions of the MMS's minerals revenue management program were transferred to the ONRR. A few days later, the ONRR published a final rule in the Federal Register to move the regulations associated with its royalty and revenue functions from chapter II in 30 CFR to chapter XII in the same title.

A year later, in October of 2011, 30 CFR was reorganized. BOEMRE rules and regulations that now applied to the BOEM were recodified in a new fifth chapter; the rules and regulations that now applied to the BSEE were recodified in a revised second chapter. The establishment of the BSEE and its sibling the BOEM and the reorganization of 30 CFR marked the completion of separating and reassigning the responsibilities of the former MMS.

The BSEE posts an organizational chart on its website.


Statutory material affecting "Deep Seabed Hard Mineral Resources" is codified in chapter 26, sections 1401–1473, of 30 U.S.C.

BSEE rules and regulations are codified in chapter II, parts 200–299, of 30 CFR.


The BSEE promotes safety, protects the environment, and conserves resources on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) through regulatory oversight and enforcement. The Offshore Regulatory Program develops standards and regulations to improve operational safety and to strengthen environmental protection. The Oil Spill Preparedness Division develops standards and guidelines for offshore operators. It also collaborates with sister agencies on spill response technologies and capabilities.

Three regional offices support the Bureau. Their personnel inspect gas and oil drilling rigs and production platforms to ensure compliance with safety requirements. Inspection teams are multiperson, and the expertise of their members spans a range of disciplines.

Sources of Information

Archived Records

The "Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States" indicates that MMS records have been assigned to record group 473. The MMS is the predecessor agency to the BSEE. See the above "Establishment and Organization" section.

Business Opportunities

Information on doing business with the BSEE is available online.

Career Opportunities

The BSEE relies on professionals with backgrounds in biology, geology, geophysics, engineering, and other fields to carry out its mission.

In 2019, the BSEE ranked 128th among 420 agency subcomponents in the Partnership for Public Service's Best Places To Work Agency Rankings.

Contact Information

To contact the BSEE, visit the "Connect With Us" web page, where addresses (email and postal) and phone numbers are available.

Director's Corner

Director Scott A. Angelle posts his thoughts and views on issues facing the BSEE and America's offshore oil and gas industry. "Energy Dominance Requires New Thinking" (SEP 2017) was the first piece that he posted.

Federal Register

Significant documents, from 1995 (volume 60) to the present, and recent documents that the BSEE has published in the Federal Register are available online.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

The FOIA gives the public the right to request Federal agency records and requires Federal agencies to make certain records available. The BSEE website serves as the portal to the agency's FOIA program. The FOIA is based on the principle of openness in Government: Any person has a right of access to Federal agency records, except to the extent that such records or portions of them are protected from disclosure by exemption or by special law-enforcement record exclusion.

The BSEE maintains an electronic FOIA reading room.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The BSEE promotes safety, protects the environment, and conserves resources offshore through regulatory oversight and enforcement. To carry out its mission, the BSEE relies on a wide range of world-class professionals. The BSEE posts answers to questions that its experts are asked frequently. | Email:


This glossary contains common oil and gas exploration and leasing terms, many of which are unique to the drilling industry.


The BSEE newsroom contains feature stories, media advisories, news briefs, photos and videos, press releases, and posts from the Director. The briefing room contains annual reports, congressional testimony, factsheets, speeches, statements, and technical presentations.

Offshore Statistics

The BSEE posts offshore statistics and facts on its website.

Reading Room

The Bureau's Deepwater Horizon electronic reading room contains documents that deal with the BP/Deepwater Horizon explosion and ensuing oil spill and that have been cleared for public release.

Regional Offices

Information on the BSEE's three geographic regions—Alaska OCS, Gulf of Mexico OCS, and Pacific OCS—and their respective regional offices is available on the "BSEE Regions" web page.

Site Map

The website map helps visitors find specific topics or allows them to browse the site's contents.

Social Media

The BSEE has a Facebook account.

The BSEE tweets announcements and other newsworthy items on Twitter.

The Sources of Information were updated 4–2020.