A western Pennsylvania state senator has introduced a bill requiring the state Department of Labor and Industry to establish training and certification of all employees working on Marcellus Shale gas drilling operations.
Senate Bill 1285 charges the department with establishing an advisory board to help it write training requirements for workers at unconventional drilling wells, which includes wells drilled in Marcellus Shale that use hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas from the rocks.
The bill also would require those employees working on drilling operations to receive the necessary training and certification within 12 months of regulations or interim guidelines taking affect, according to the bill.
In addition to training and certification, the bill would allow the advisory board to review and comment on regulations prior to their release.
The nine advisory board members would each be appointed for three-year terms, according to the bill. The board's membership would consist of:
Sen. James R. Brewster, D-Allegheny and Westmoreland counties, introduced the bill Wednesday. The bill was referred to the Senate Labor and Industry Committee.
Brewster was not immediately available for comment on the bill. Representatives from the Washington County-based shale coalition weren't available either.
The Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission in July recommended standardized job training in natural gas drilling as part of larger regulatory proposals.
Gov. Tom Corbett is proposing greater job training to assist the industry as part of his larger Marcellus Shale Proposal announced on Oct. 3, but there's no mention of certification. The governor finds training issues important and will work with Labor and Industry to address them, Corbett spokesman Eric Shirk said today.