The National Research Council, of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, has a new standing Committee on Offshore Science and Assessment for Ocean Energy Management.  This Committee is sponsored by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).  This Committee has the following “Statement of Task”:

“facilitate stakeholder discussions of controversial issues;

enhance the understanding of developments in related fields of science and technology, and if warranted, to develop NRC studies on specific topics;

provide a venue for BOEM staff to meet and exchange information with staff from other federal agencies and help BOEM define its unique role in the interagency process; and

facilitate the exchange of information and lessons learned with staff from other world class applied environmental studies and assessment programs with a view to assisting BOEM in being the best in such programs.”

Information about this new NAS Committee is available here.

This Committee had its first meeting on December 8, 2015. The Committee’s first meeting agenda is available here.

BOEM staff at the meeting said they want the Committee to help the agency “integrate science and policy and regulation.”

BOEM and NAS representatives at the meeting explained that the Committee would meet publicly three times per year.

At one of these annual meetings, the Committee will review BOEM’s Study Development Plan, which focuses on BOEM’s research priorities.  The first such meeting is currently scheduled for May, 2016.

At the two other annual meetings, the Committee will review and comment on  “high level,” “hot topic,” “policy science” issues.  During the Committee’s December 8th meeting, BOEM staff repeatedly mentioned effects of marine sound on marine mammals as one of these issues.

No dates or topics for these two meetings were announced at the meeting.

BOEM representatives stated at the meeting that other possible Committee activities include “workshops” and “interagency forums on regulatory issues.”

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