"We have made and continue to make significant progress in reducing the risks associated with deepwater drilling," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a conference call with reporters Tuesday afternoon.
"It is now appropriate to lift the suspension on deepwater drilling for those operators to clear the higher bar we have set," he said.
Salazar also noted that the plugging of BP's runaway well has freed up
response resources should another accident occur.
The ban was initially slated to last until late November.
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