Local Emergency Planning Committee Seeks Funding for Hazmat Training
On July 12, several men and women from around the county held a meeting to speak about issues regarding the oil and gas industry in the county. Among those present were Larry Lemons and Lisa Heasley of the Wetzel County Commission, Dave Pethel representing the WV House of Delegates, and several representatives from oil and gas companies working throughout the county.
Ray Renaud gave an update from the road safety committee, saying that there has not been much progress. “We haven’t been doing a lot of progress with the DOH because they are very, very busy right now with the secondary highway inititive,” said Renaud.
He went on to say he has had one major issue brought to his attention on Amos Hollow, an extension of Rt 89. “I had five or six people stop with one major complaint,” Renaud said. “The escourt and the lead truck were right on each other’s tail.” Renaud added there is a policy proposal saying the first truck behind the lead truck should be far enough back to allow communication between the two. He also had a complaint about the sign on the pilot trucks stating how many trucks are in the convoy. “If you have a sign, it’s better not to have anything on it than to have it wrong, because then you can have a major problem,” stated Renaud.
It was also reported that the slip on piney fork has been fixed as best as it can, but is being consistently monitiored. The DOH reportedly has engineers working to find a more permanent fix.
Following the Oil and Gas Task Force, the Local Emergency Planning Committee meeting was held. Ray Renaud presented the treasure’s report, “Basically we’ve had no activity since the last LEPC meeting. We have a balance of $6081.77.”
Chairman Gary Glasscock presented an idea to make the EOP more readily available. “We need to explore the idea of possibly putting our county EOP on a website. It is public knowledge, and would be easier for other counties to click on and download, as well as make our job easier on distribution to other counties,” Glasscock stated. Glasscock went on to report that there were a couple fireman who attended a training in Texas. These fireman had expressed interest in returning to Texas to attend a training regarding hazardous materials. ” The oil and gas industry is here in Wetzel County to stay,” Glasscock said.
He suggested that it would be very beneficial to organize a hazardous materials operations class, as well as a hazardous materials technicians class for the fireman here in the county. Glasscock continued by saying, “We are kind of reaching out to some of the oil and gas people to see if they would sponsor that.
It is kind of costly. The figures I’m going to throw out here are for ten people. Just for a hazmat operations class it would cost $2,270, and that’s a 16 hour course.” The hazmat technician course would reportedly cost $3,330 for a 40 hour course for ten people.
The next meeting will be held on October 25, at 10 a.m. following the Oil and Gas Task Force meeting.