West Virginia – Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has issued an executive order that establishes the West Virginia Safety Commission on Oil and Natural Gas Industry Safety, and his office identifies the commission’s inaugural members. The new commission will be chaired by the governor or his designee and includes the secretaries of the state departments of Environmental Protection, Commerce, Transportation, and Military Affairs and Public Safety.
Tomblin’s Executive Order No. 5-15 says the number and severity of personal injuries to workers in the oil and gas industry have increased as fracking and horizontal drilling practices have become more prevalent.
It says, “in view of this increasing number and severity of personal injuries, it is appropriate to review and assess the effectiveness of the federal and state laws and regulations associated with workplace safety in the oil and gas industry in West Virginia,” including those promulgated by OSHA, EPA, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, and the West Virginia Office of Oil and Gas.
The order says the commission is to issue a final report by Nov. 16, 2015.