Regional Forum to Discuss Offshore Oil Drilling Safety in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
December 6, 2011

U.S. Department of State and other government officials will participate in a preparedness and response seminar in Nassau, The Bahamas, December 7-9, hosted by the Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas and the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Information and Training Center for the Wider Caribbean (REMPEITC-Caribe). Government representatives from the Caribbean, Latin America, and the United States will discuss topics related to the offshore energy sector, including preventive regulatory frameworks, safety standards for floating production units, and best practices in oil spill containment. The goal of the meeting is to increase regional cooperation and joint planning on responses related to offshore units and marine pollution preparedness. U.S. participants will represent the United States Coast Guard, the Department of the Interior Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, the Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of State.

REMPEITC-Caribe is a regional activity center to help countries in the Wider Caribbean and Latin America prevent and respond to major pollution incidents in the marine environment. It receives support from the International Maritime Organization, the United Nations Environmental Programme, and participating governments, including the United States.

As new offshore oil drilling sites begin activities, the United States protects U.S. waters and shorelines by promoting safe drilling and response preparedness in areas close to our exclusive economic zone. The United States will continue to engage multilaterally to advance regional collaboration and to ensure responsible stewardship of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.

PRN: 2011/2077