The U.S. Coast Guard earlier this week said it plans to issue regulations requiring vessels on the Outer Continental Shelf to develop, implement and maintain a vessel-specific safety and environmental management system.

The safety and environmental management system (SEMS) would incorporate the principles of the American Petroleum Institute's Recommended Practice for Development of a Safety and Environmental Management Program for Offshore Operations and Facilities (API RP 75).

"The Coast Guard intends for this SEMS to be developed and implemented by the vessel's owner or operator and compatible with a designated lease operator's SEMS required under Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement regulations," the agency says in an advance notice of proposed rulemaking published in the Sept. 10 Federal Register.

The Coast Guard said it is seeking public comments on whether an SEMS that incorporates API RP 75 is appropriate for vessels engaged in activities on the Outer Continental Shelf, would reduce risk and casualties and improve safety on the Outer Continental Shelf.

"Comments should address the feasibility of implementing a SEMS that incorporates API RP 75, the compatibility with BSEE SEMS regulations, potential methods of oversight, safety issues, costs and regulatory burdens and other issues of concern to the regulated community and general public," the Coast Guard says. "The Coast Guard would use such comments to assist in developing these new regulations."

Comments must be submitted to the online docket via http://www.regulations.gov on or before Dec. 9 or reach the Docket Management Facility by that date.