The Environmental Protection Agency is pushing oil and gas companies to increase their use of skilled engineers for projects. Doing so may curb potential problems says the EPA, as engineers are uniquely qualified to ensure projects meet regulatory and performance requirements. In a letter to the EPA, the National Society for Professional Engineers applauded the decision and emphasized the important role that professional engineers can play in oil and gas projects.
Considering the need for engineers in the oil and gas sector
The EPA’s guidance for oil and gas companies emphasizes that professional engineers have the unique blend of skills and knowledge needed to protect public health and ensure regulatory compliance. The EPA’s official documentation explains that state licensing boards have oversight policies in place that ensure any professional engineer who signs off on a project that does not meet mandatory specifications will have to face potential penalties. As such, ensuring that professional engineers are involved in projects creates a sense of urgency to meet industry standards and best practices.
The NSPE lauded the EPA for this decision as the society is in agreement that only professional, certified engineers will be able to provide the expertise needed to properly guide oil and gas engineering projects. Essentially, the EPA is adding weight and value to the licensing requirements across the industry by acknowledging that only certified engineers will be able to handle the unique challenges presented across the oil and gas sector. These recommendations do not exist solely for the benefits of the oil and gas industry. The EPA is increasingly recognizing the growing need for professional engineers on all projects that fall under the requirements of EPA regulations.
Preparing for environmental excellence
EPA standards are often complex and demanding, and must be carefully considered when designing a project. Any failure to meet EPA requirements can lead to penalties such as fines and even loss of license. This makes completing professional engineer continuing education requirements particularly important. If engineers are going to play a larger role in projects requiring EPA compliance moving forward, then effective training is needed to give them the information needed to live up to regulatory standards.