PHMSA Proposes $3.7 million fine for Enbridge Spill in Michigan in 2010

August 2012, Vol. 67 No. 8

James Inhofe (R-OK), the top Republican on the committee, also assailed the EPA. "They are working to stop hydraulic fracturing through 13 federal agencies and have attempted to implement their agenda to crucify American energy producers," Inhofe said. He has been frustrated by a lack of EPA response to his request for documents related to "imminent and substantial endangerment order" the agency issued out of its Dallas office in 2010.The EPA had asserted that methane and possibly benzene from fracked gas wells in Parker County, TX, had contaminated drinking water in two wells. The Texas Railroad Commission subsequently determined the contamination was not the result of fracking done by Range Resources.

OSHA Issues Worker Alert In Fracking Operations

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued an "alert" telling engineering service companies who frack wells to take "appropriate steps" to protect workers from silica exposure. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) worked in cooperation with oil and gas industry partners to sample the air at 11 sites in five states where hydraulic fracturing operations were taking place.

NIOSH identified seven primary sources of silica dust exposure during fracturing operations and found that workers downwind of sand mover and blender operations, especially during hot loading, had the highest silica exposures. The alert says engineering controls and work practices provide the best protection for workers and must be implemented first, before respiratory protection is used.