What can be done to address health concerns? What have others done?

Industry Representatives

Quality of Life

There are numerous ways to ease the transition within a community experiencing rapid shale gas development. For example, communities could create a task force to identify and anticipate social issues, tap into regional resources for information on how to respond to changes, and maintain ongoing engagement with industry representatives. Part of the task force’s role could be to anticipate the recreational needs of temporary workers and facilitate their participation in community activities and programs. 

Beginning in the development phase, API’s Community Engagement Guidelines suggest that operators support local activities and nonprofit organizations seeking to address local challenges. The guidelines emphasize the importance of working with local officials and other stakeholders, being responsive to community concerns, and maintaining and continuously improving high industry standards for road and traffic safety, among other considerations.

Furthermore, employee assistance personnel and project managers can be engaged in discussions of how to address substance misuse, given that it is not only a medical and public health problem, but also an issue of workplace safety. 1 In one example, when methamphetamine addiction emerged as a serious health problem in Gillette, Wyoming, Marathon Oil Company undertook an educational awareness campaign to combat the problem (see Box 15. Case Study:  Meth Education Program).

Notes:

  1. International Association of Oil and Gas Producers, Substance Misuse: A Guide for Managers and Supervisors in the Oil and Gas Industry (2010).