Proposed PA Legislation Seeks to Require Use of Steel Products Produced in U.S.

Two pieces of proposed legislation were introduced to the Pennsylvania Senate on Thursday, July 31. Each has been referred to the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. Senate Bill 1458, if passed, would amend Title 58 by requiring that steel casings (or other steel safety devices) used in in the drilling of an oil or gas well only use steel products produced in the United States. Senate Bill 1460, provides that products containing both foreign and United States steel shall be determined to be a United States steel product if at least 75% of the cost of the articles, materials and supplies have been mined, produced or manufactured in the United States.

WVU Extension Service Opens Oil and Gas Training Center

WVU’s Health and Safety Extension Division has announced the opening of a new Oil and Gas Training and Assistance Center to provide training and credentials to WV employees working in the oil and gas field.  The training center utilizes the knowledge of local experts to offer current and prospective oil and gas employees training on various safety topics.  Courses anticipated to be offered by the Training Center include fall protection, transportation safety, confined space safety, and a PEC/SafeLandUSA Basic Awareness Orientation course.  Once an individual completes a training course, the Training Center can then provide valuable credentials to the current and prospective employees, including registration in an online database accessible by employers.  Costs of the courses vary by topic.

Rockefeller Asks GAO to Study Issues Regarding Oil and Gas Transportation

U.S. Senator John Rockefeller (D-WV), Chair of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, recently asked the Government Accountability Office to assess the impact of current shale oil and gas development on the nation’s existing transportation infrastructure, including rail and pipelines.  Rockefeller’s request was reportedly prompted by a recent train derailment incident in Quebec and the Sissonville, WV, pipeline explosion event which occurred in December 2012.  The Committee held a hearing on rail safety in June 2013 and a field hearing on pipeline safety in January 2013.

Doddridge County, WV Well Site Explosion Triggers Investigation as to Cause reports that there was a recent explosion and fire at a well site in Doddridge County, West Virginia.  Kathy Cosco, a spokeswoman for the West Virginia DEP, indicated that the containment system around the well site properly prevented storage tank fluids from escaping the well site.  The West Virginia DEP and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating the incident.