Gas Well Emergency Training Initiative Launched

From Potter County Today

As natural gas production in Pennsylvania continues to increase, the industry has launched a partnership with state agencies to train the emergency response community. Working with the State Fire Academy, the Marcellus Shale Coalition is supporting expanded training with new components targeted specifically at shale gas production. Trainings will cover a host of issues, from what to expect upon arriving at a well site, to how best to coordinate with on-site industry personnel. The State Fire Commissioner and Pa. Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), as well as the Lycoming County Gas Exploration Task Force, continue to work with the coalition to jointly develop training curriculum, giving first-responders the tools needed to effectively respond to the broad range of unlikely scenarios.

In July, area emergency responders from the region attended a training session in Emporium. “Wellsite Hazard Awareness” was taught by Hugh White of Range Resources. Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey has introduced federal legislation to improve emergency response at oil and gas wells. The bill would require operators to:

  • Have an employee knowledgeable in responding to emergency situations present at the well at all times during the exploration or drilling phase;
  • Make available a certified response team, within one hour of ground travel time, if an emergency situation arises.
  • Contact local first responders within 15 minutes of an emergency; and contact OSHA and the National Response Center within one hour;
  • Provide communication technology at the site (e.g., mobile communication or satellite phone);
  • Provide annual training to local first responders.

Article courtesy of the Potter County Commissioners.

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