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Hydraulic Fracturing: Environmental and Occupational Health Challenges

Recorded On: 06/05/2013

The presentation will review ongoing study and advocacy efforts being led by the American Petroleum Institute (API), focusing on EPA's national hydraulic fracturing study and their work in Pavillion Wyoming.

Occupational health and safety practices to effectively control the chemical and physical hazards of this technology will also be discussed. There is a lack of published information regarding the variety and magnitude of chemical exposure risks to oil and gas extraction workers.

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 Institute’s 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 master’s 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.

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