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Executive order sets up one-call response to oil, gas emergencies in Ohio

Executive order sets up one-call response to oil, gas emergencies in Ohio

Gov. John Kasich has issued an order that is designed to improve response to emergencies involving oil and gas facilities, which his office says will lead to faster and more effective reaction to explosions, leaks and other disasters.

The executive order sets up a “one call” response system, which requires energy companies to call a state hotline within 30 minutes after an accident. The call will begin a process in which state agencies coordinate a response.

“This is set up to support the locals and make sure the necessary resources are available,” said Bethany McCorkle, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Local emergency officials would be in charge; state officials would mobilize to help.

Kasich used his line-item veto last year to remove a provision that had a similar intent. At the time, he said he would revisit the issue after having a chance to study it.

With the order, temporary rules take effect immediately and will last for up to 120 days, allowing state agencies time to approve permanent rules.

The immediacy of the rules is a concern for the Ohio Oil and Gas Association. The trade group says it will scrutinize Kasich’s plan and work to address any problems during the rule-making process.

The association “remains concerned on how the process was implemented as well as the broader impacts it may have on our membership due to the immediate effectiveness of this order,” said Shawn Bennett, the group’s executive vice president, in a statement.

The agencies that would coordinate responses when an emergency call comes in include the Department of Natural Resources, the state fire marshal’s office, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

Several high-profile incidents have occurred in Ohio, including a June 2014 chemical fire in Monroe County related to the use of hydraulic fracturing to extract oil and gas.

Environmental advocates and others have said that action is needed to address such incidents effectively.

“Generally, we see this as a step in the right direction,” said Melanie Houston, director of oil and gas for the Ohio Environmental Council.

dgearino@dispatch.com

Request to buy this photoAdam Cairns | Dispatch file photoCharred remains of a June 28, 2014, chemical fire on the Statoil North American fracking well pad in Monroe County, as seen on Aug. 6, 2014.

Source: Columbus Dispatch

By Dan Gearino The Columbus Dispatch  •  Tuesday August 9, 2016 5:35 PM

LINK: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2016/08/09/order-sets-up-one-call-response-to-oil-gas-emergencies.html

fire on pad in monroe county, oh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A long-burning chemical fire on the Statoil North American fracking well pad in Monroe County on June 28, 2014.

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