RRC Chairman Porter Announces Employee Safety Enhancements-Strengthens measures to address pipeline safety concerns near border

06/24/2015

AUSTIN – Texas Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter today highlighted several policy changes to increase Commission inspection staff safety in pipeline areas in South Texas.

“The federal government has been ineffective in preventing illegal activity along the border and with the unprecedented amount of oil and gas activity in the Eagle Ford Shale in recent years, Commission inspectors in South Texas have voiced concerns about their safety,” said Porter. “It is the Railroad Commission’s duty to protect the health and safety of all Texans – and as Railroad Commissioners, this responsibility extends to ensuring that our staff is protected while doing this important work.”

Employee safety enhancements include:

  1. Ensuring that RRC staff and inspectors who want to carry firearms for self-protection on duty have the opportunity to obtain their concealed handgun license in a timely manner.
  2. Requiring inspectors in areas of concern to use the “buddy system” to ensure they are not alone in potentially dangerous areas.
  3. Purchasing cell phone boosters for inspector vehicles in remote areas of South Texas that are close to the border and have limited access to mobile communications.

“Commission staff will continue to evaluate the potential need for additional safety measures in the future if necessary,” Porter said.

Chairman Porter has visited several South Texas oil and gas facilities and pipeline rights-of-way near the border and met with field staff, operators, law enforcement and security officials to ensure the safety of Texas’ critical energy infrastructure. An inspection of the area exposed potentially dangerous situations for RRC inspection staff.

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Texas Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter was elected statewide by the people of Texas to serve as a member of the Commission in November 2010. A Certified Public Accountant and successful small business owner, Chairman Porter has worked with oil and gas producers for nearly three decades providing strategic financial advice and tax counsel. He is the senior member of the Commission with a proven record of principle-driven, free market conservative leadership.

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