The importance of public participation in legislation of TENORM risk management in the oil and gas industry

Khalid ALNabhani, Faisal Khan*, Ming Yang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The great debate about incorporating public participation in the legislative process of oil and gas regulation is contentious and triggered by the political game theory, whereby states focus on building a strong economy and full sovereignty at the expense of the environment, the safety of their citizens, and health. The relationship between politics and the economy in oil- and gas-producing states is represented by the oil and gas industry. During oil and gas production, harmful radioactive materials known as TENORM (technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive materials) are coproduced. Furthermore, the coproduced radiological materials pose a serious radiological risk to workers in the oil and gas industry as well as the public. This occurs via radiological pathways that contaminate soil, water, and food sources due to the current methods of disposing radioactive materials that are stored either near the surface or underground. Incidentally, TENORM disposal sites that are subsequently developed into residential sites, commercial premises, or industrial sites can increase the radiological risk. This paper focuses on the relationship between the legislation and politics of the oil and gas industry and the laws associated with the oil and gas industry that protect human health and environmental safety. The paper aims to highlight the importance and activate the role of public participation in the formulation of legislation, by striking a balance between the interest of the authorities and interests of the public under democracy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)606-614
Number of pages9
JournalProcess Safety and Environmental Protection
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Energy policy
  • Legislation
  • Nuclear
  • Political
  • Public participation
  • Radioactivity
  • Risk management
  • Safety


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