West Virginia commission to report on oil and gas industry safety
The West Virginia Commission on Oil and Natural Gas Industry Safety met in late August for its second meeting.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin formed the commission earlier this year to review state and federal regulations regarding safety in the oil and natural gas industry. The commission will work to determine how safety can be enhanced on the worksite.
Larry Malone, the director of policy for Tomblin, was selected as the chairman of the commission. He said during the meeting that commission members as well as other individuals were present and listened to different presentations.
“We heard from the industry about not only the different activities of the industry from the site preparation for a well site, the drilling, the completion, the building of pipelines (and) the whole range of activities, but also how they’re doing that, and how they’re keeping safety in mind, and what company policies and practices they have in place for worksite safety,” Malone said.
The commission consists of oil industry representatives, members of the legislature, cabinet officials and representatives from labor groups. Malone said Tomblin wanted to represent all stakeholders.
He said the commission is looking at different components of the oil and gas industry.
“We are focusing on the safety regulations and practices that are being done by the oil and gas industry in West Virginia, whether that is drilling and production, pipeline construction, the big processing plants where they process the natural gas and strip away some of the liquids, so it’s a full range of the oil and gas industry,” Malone said.
The commission will put together a final report from its findings by Nov. 16. Malone said he is not sure what will be in the commission’s final report as of now because they are just beginning the three-month process of putting together information.
The commission will look at regulations and determine if there are any needs when it comes to enhancing worksite safety as part of the overall assessment.
The commission will meet again Sept. 16 in Wheeling.