The Obama administration has tapped former Coast Guard Vice Admiral Brian Salerno as director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE).
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewel appointed Salerno to head the offshore drilling regulator whom will assume his new position Aug. 26.
"Brian Salerno is an accomplished professional who brings proven expertise in maritime safety and emergency response management to the job," said Jewell, in a released statement. "As we continue to strengthen the nation's program to ensure safe and responsible offshore oil and gas exploration and development, I believe Brian has the experience, vision, and the leadership to be a great asset to the Bureau, the Department and the nation."
Following the departure of Jim Watson at the end of the month, Salerno will serve as the third director in the organization’s history. Before retiring from the U.S. Coast Guard last year as its Deputy Commandant for Operations, Salerno played an important role in the response to the Deepwater Horizon accident and spill. He served as Incident Commander for responses to several large-scale transportation accidents, oil spills and hurricanes.
"I look forward to working with the employees at BSEE on the important work of ensuring that offshore operations are safe, secure and environmentally sound," said Salerno. "I recognize the great strides that the Department has made over the past years, and I look forward to continuing that progress, working in close contact with our partners across government and industry."
He was also a member of the National Academy of Sciences’ Ocean Studies Board that explored industry and government readiness to respond to oil spills in the Arctic Ocean and part of a team that examined interagency relationships among BSEE, the Coast Guard, other government agencies and the regulated industry, the press release added. Salerno is also a board member of the North American Marine Environmental Protection Association which assists maritime companies and organizations committed to environmentally sound practices by industry.
“I applaud Secretary Jewell’s selection of Vice Admiral Brian Salerno as Director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement,” said National Ocean Industries Association President Randall Luthi in a statement. “NOIA trusts he will continue Admiral Watson’s record of fair oversight as we strive to maintain the highest levels of offshore safety while producing the energy so vital to the nation’s economic health.”
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