The Department of Interior announced October 21 the first approval of a deepwater oil and gas drilling exploration plan submitted by BP since the last year’s Gulf of Mexico spill. The approval by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management marks a milestone for the industry since the company had to meet new federal offshore drilling safety and environmental standards since the disaster. The same day, the Bureau appointed 15 members to its Outer Continental Shelf Advisory Committee, which meets at least once per year to provide advice on environmental assessments.