As a longtime oil and gas producer in the area, I was very disappointed to see the Marietta Times assuming our industry does not disclose the chemicals we use and somehow put first responders at risk. Ohio has long been in the forefront of making sure our emergency management services and fire departments always have the information they need in case of an emergency.
In 2001, Ohio passed House Bill 94 which updated the Emergency Planning Community Right To Know Act (EPCRA) from a paper database to the more current digital format. This emergency management website is used across Ohio by fire departments and emergency planners alike. The website goes over and above the requirements set forth by EPCRA, lists chemicals, well owners, contact information and maps all for use by first responders in order to develop proper planning in case of an emergency.
At the time, the new digital website was heralded by the State Review Oil and Natural Gas Environmental Regulation (STRONGER), a group whose membership is comprised of regulators, industry and the environmental community to review oil and gas regulation in the United States as well as the Council of State Governments for being an innovative approach to providing access to emergency response information to responders and the public alike.
In addition, the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program provides free oilfield training for Ohio's first responders to teach them how to use this system as part of their training.
To insinuate that Ohio's oil and gas industry would intentionally put our first responders into even more dangerous situations is disingenuous. First responders are our partners in the oilfield and we want to be as forthright as possible with them, which is why we developed such an innovative program in 2001
The first responders I have spoken with about hazardous chemicals are far more concerned about entering the increasing number of meth-labs than responding to an oilfield site.
Artex Oil Company