When something goes wrong in the natural gas fields like a spill or an explosion — somebody has to clean up the mess.
Mike Chicka gets these calls. The work, he says, can be pretty challenging.
“We’ve had times where we’ve had to build roads in the side of mountains,” he says. “We’ve brought in 30-, 40-foot pipes to be able to put through culverts to be able to divert the flow of streams and rivers, and bring in thousands of tons of stone to be able to build a road proper to get to the spill.”
Chicka is a field supervisor for McCutcheon Enterprises, which handles industrial waste and responds to hazardous materials incidents involving energy and other industries. The company’s headquarters are in Apollo, an Armstrong County borough northeast of Pittsburgh.
Listen to Chicka talk about his role in the region’s energy landscape:
Voices of Energy is an ongoing series that cuts through the rhetoric surrounding energy to feature people who work in all aspects of the industry. Check out the other parts of the series, including a feature on a consultant who works in western Pennsylvania’s solar industry, and an energy auditor who performs home energy inspections.
Do you know someone who would make for an interesting profile? Contact Amy Sisk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This story is produced in partnership with StateImpact Pennsylvania, a collaboration among The Allegheny Front, WPSU, WITF and WHYY to cover the commonwealth's energy economy.