Coast Guard and Minerals Management Service co-chair investigation into Deepwater Horizon incident

NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and Minerals Management Service (MMS) will co-chair an investigation starting May 11, 2010 to identify the factors leading to the explosion, loss of life, sinking, and subsequent oil spill of the Deepwater Horizon Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit, which began on April 20, 2010.

U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad W. Allen, Minerals Management Service Director S. Elizabeth Birnbaum, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar signed an order convening the joint investigation. This joint investigation is classified as a Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation as defined with Title 46, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 4.09 and a panel investigation as defined within Title 30, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 250.101.

Mr. David Dykes, MMS, and Captain Hung Nguyen, USCG, are the co-chairs of the joint investigation. The USCG and MMS share jurisdiction for the investigation of casualties occurring on the Outer Continental Shelf. The agencies have a Memoranda of Agreement establishing the roles and responsibilities related to each agency’s areas of expertise.

Upon completion of the joint investigation, the team will issue a single report to the MMS Director and the Commandant of the Coast Guard containing the evidence brought forward, facts established and its conclusions and recommendations. The report will be submitted simultaneously to both agencies. The Commandant of the Coast Guard and the MMS Director will jointly sign and release the final report.

A public hearing for the joint investigation will be held May 11-12, 2010 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CDT) at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 2829 Williams Blvd., Kenner, La. A list of witnesses and additional information can be found on the Deepwater Investigation Web site: www.deepwaterinvestigation.com

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