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Policy Statement 533 - Offshore Facilities Development

ASCE Policy Statement                                                                                                           533           




 Approved by the Energy, Environment, and Water Policy Committee on March 8, 2012
Approved by the Public Policy Committee on May 4, 2012
Adopted by the Board of Direction on July 20, 2012



The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) supports:

  • Responsible use and development of offshore resources.
  • Regulatory control of offshore regions.
  • Protection of public health, safety, and welfare and protection of the environment appropriately addressed for all offshore development.
  • Efforts by government at all levels to incorporate scientific risk management in all decision making processes that affect the public’s safety, health, or welfare, and to exercise sound conservation practices and protection of the public health and environment consistent with sustainable offshore development.
  • Creative partnering among federal, state, and local governments to adopt offshore development policies.
  • Programs to approve offshore development that comply with these policies in a timely manner.



Environmental and public opposition to offshore development, as well as lengthy permitting and approval processes, may stop viable offshore projects from being considered or developed.  The impact of hurricanes, natural and anthropogenic disasters, and emerging concern over climate change and its potential impact on ocean levels and coastal development reinforce the need for improved planning, practices, and regulations consistent with sustainable development of offshore resources. 

Offshore development projects are viable if the risk to public safety and the environment are adequately addressed through policies and standards addressing the planning, design, and construction of such developments.  Delay in the approval of offshore projects that meet all policy and standard requirements could delay or eliminate valuable projects that may provide access to natural resources.


Civil engineers are largely responsible for the efficient design and operation of offshore facilities such as water supply, transportation and energy structures, drainage facilities, and pipelines.  Civil engineers recognize the benefits of offshore development that has been properly planned, designed, constructed, and operated to ensure public safety, health and welfare are protected, and to ensure the environmental impacts are mitigated and hazards inherent in offshore development are addressed.  Civil engineers recognize the need for adequate and protective policies and standards, and further recognize that offshore projects that meet such standards should be approved in a timely manner.


ASCE Policy Statement 533 
First Approved 2010