Pipeline Safety Forum Covers Annual Updates

On Monday, March 27, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)’s safety forum highlighted the successes since CORROSION 2016 commenced as well as plans for 2017. Moderated by Kevin Garrity of Mears Group, Inc. (and past president of NACE), the 1 p.m. session included presentations by Alan K. Mayberry, P.E., Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety of PHMSA, and Ron McClain, President of Products Pipelines at Kinder Morgan.

According to experts, last year was the busiest year in PHMSA’s existence. Updates at the forum covered several of those items, including an overview of the new administration, such as the new secretary of transportation, and how that continues to impact PHMSA. Mayberry discussed serious and significant incident trends for all system types and gas and liquid/carbon dioxide pipes.

With 2.7 million miles of pipeline in the United States, developments within the industry are imminent. For 2017, several rules are currently in various stages on the docket, such as Safety of On-Shore Hazardous Liquid Pipelines. One of the main objectives for this year is PHMSA’s help in the development and implementation of American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/American Petroleum Institute (API)’s Recommended Practice (RP) 1173: Pipeline Safety Management System (PSMS). The administration is looking to developing another committee to share pertinent information with stakeholders.

Overall, PHMSA is “working toward the goal of zero incidents,” Garrity said. Supporting National Safe Digging Month, which occurs in April, as well as continuing the efforts throughout 2017, will help to continue that objective.