Oil, gas teams up with truckers to improve safety - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Oil, gas teams up with truckers to improve safety

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Members of major oil gas trade groups have partnered with two large trucking associations to develop safe roadway practices.

The American Petroleum Institute has been working with the National Truck Carriers and the American Trucking Association to develop information materials on maintaining safety in transporting natural gas. Increased traffic from such vehicles is among some of the concerns and issues communities have faced in the expansion of natural gas in areas such as the Marcellus shale region.

"The industry is committed to protecting our employees, the environment, and the communities where we operate, all while increasing energy security by safely and responsibly developing the energy America needs to fuel its economy," said Holly Hopkins, API upstream senior policy advisor.  "API and its members participate in many safety outreach programs and educational outreach on safe driving is an extension of API's 94-year history of promoting and enhancing safety operations."

The initiative was started by the Consumer Energy Alliance, a group from Houston that works with a variety of energy and related sectors. The results were posted online and "include recommendations to hold frequent meetings with motor carriers to evaluate safety issues, methods for encouraging a culture of safety, techniques to promote access to safety education resources, and practices to properly inform all drivers on the delivery and removal of equipment and materials used during oil and natural gas production."

"Consumer Energy Alliance believes that North America has a tremendous opportunity to become energy self-sufficient, spur job creation and growth across the entire US economy and that developing these resources is dependent, in part, on responsible and safe trucking operations," said David Holt, CEA President. "Member companies of these producing and trucking organizations should be applauded for their voluntary and forward-looking action."

Producers are encouraged in the report to "monitor and enforce requirements for proof of regulatory compliance by motor carriers and to not hire those with unsatisfactory safety ratings. It is recommended for both transporters and producers to be sensitive to local impacts and, to the extent possible, ‘schedule deliveries and movements to minimize the traffic impact on local communities.'"

Glen Kedzie, American Trucking Associations Vice President, energy and environmental counsel said safety is the number one priotity for the industry. John Conley, past President of the National Tank Truck Carriers, and Trucking Safety Taskforce co-chair also applauded the initiative.

"Trucks are the essential workhorses of our country's ability to take advantage of our shale gas and oil resources to become energy independent. It is the trucking industry's responsibility to provide safe, efficient, and to the extent possible, considerate truck support of this important energy opportunity," said John Conley, past President of the National Tank Truck Carriers, and Trucking Safety Taskforce co-chair.