Hydraulic Fracturing: Environmental and Occupational Health Challenges
Recorded on June 5, 2013 (90 minutes)

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Topic One: What Has Industry Been Doing in Response to EPAís Hydraulic Fracturing Environmental and Regulatory Efforts?

The presentation will review ongoing study and advocacy efforts being led by the American Petroleum Institute (API), focusing on EPAís national hydraulic fracturing study and their work in Pavillion Wyoming.  The ultimate outcomes of EPAís work on these two studies will have significant influence on how hydraulic fracturing operations will be conducted in the future.  APIís work in tracking, monitoring and performing critical reviews of EPAís studies in already yielding interesting results and insights.  This presentation will also touch on several other topics being addressed by EPA, including the pending Diesel Use Guidance, induced seismicity, and the update of APIís HF-1, HF-2 and HF-3 Guidance documents.

Topic Two: Overview of NIOSH Field Effort to Assess Chemical Exposures in Gas and Oil Workers

Hydraulic fracturing is an industrial process that presents potential chemical and physical hazards. Occupational health and safety practices to effectively control these hazards will be discussed. There is a lack of published information regarding the variety and magnitude of chemical exposure risks to oil and gas extraction workers.  NIOSH has developed partnerships with the oil and gas (O&G) extraction industry to identify, characterize and (if needed) control workplace chemical exposures through the NIOSH Oil and Gas Extraction Safety and Health Program. This presentation describes the NIOSH Field Effort, discuss potential hazards for occupational exposures and describe results of a recent NIOSH study looking at risks and results for exposures to respirable crystalline silica in a variety of completions sites across the U.S.  

Mr. Michael Parker, Retired, ExxonMobil Production Company - Technical Advisor

Mr. Parker recently retired after over 35 years of service as a Technical Advisor within ExxonMobil Production Company's Upstream Safety, Health, and Environment organization. Mr. Parker provided technical support and guidance to ExxonMobil affiliates world-wide on a range of issues including drilling and production discharges, underground injection control, spill prevention and control, facility decommissioning, artificial reef programs, marine environmental issues, carbon capture and storage, hydraulic fracturing and general issue management coordination.

At retirement, Mr. Parker Chaired the American Petroleum Instituteís Upstream Environmental Subcommittee, the Carbon Capture and Storage Work Group and the Hydraulic Fracturing Workgroup and was Upstream Environmental and Regulatory Issue Management Coordinator for ExxonMobil Production Company. Mr. Parker is currently Principal of Parker Environmental and Consulting.

Mr. Parker is a graduate of the University of Texas and Texas A&M University and is a registered Professional Engineer in Texas and Louisiana. Mr. Parker also serves on the Board of Directors of the Armand Bayou Nature Center.


Mr. Eric J. Esswein, Captain, USPHS, Sr. Industrial Hygienist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Western States Office, Denver, CO

Eric is a Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Public Health Service assigned as a senior industrial to CDC/NIOSH where he has worked for more than 20 years. Eric conducts field-based occupational health research in oil and gas extraction as part of the NIOSH Field Effort to Assess Chemical Exposure Risks for Oil and Gas Workers.

Eric holds bachelor and masterís degrees in environmental health/toxicology and public health/industrial hygiene and is board certified in the comprehensive practice of industrial hygiene. He is the first named inventor for two patents in the area of chemical detection and decontamination.