On Thursday, a delegation from API, AOPL and member company pipeline executives met with PHMSA Administrator Elliott, NTSB Chair Sumwalt and NTSB Members Hart and Weener to discuss industry-wide safety improvement efforts. 

Industry participants shared examples of how their companies are implementing new industry-wide Recommended Practices (RPs) and Technical Reports on Pipeline Safety Management Systems, leak detection program management, integrity management, data integration and emergency response and taking transformative, proactive steps to improve pipeline safety.

Administrator Elliott queried attendees on examples of advancements in technology and applying new technologies to improve safety, senior management signals to convey safety culture, and overcoming resistance to prioritizing safety.  

Alan Mayberry, also in attendance, emphasized the importance of assessing interactive threats to pipelines, appreciation for risk modeling improvement to date and the potential to leverage new and updated industry-wide recommended practices.  Protecting pipelines against security threats and communicating pipeline benefits and safety efforts to stakeholders was also discussed.

At NTSB, the conversation centered around how the liquids pipeline industry is aggressively implementing NTSB’s recommendation to employ PSMS.  NTSB Members shared how they were “impressed” with industry PSMS implementation and found leaders of industry embracing the NTSB PSMS recommendation rewarding.  Senior NTSB staff commended the “tremendous” job of industry developing API RP 1173 on PSMS and the “phenomenal” efforts to implement the RP quickly.  

In October 2015, the NTSB said action in response to the NTSB Recommendation “exceeded expectations”.  Industry also shared with NTSB the breadth of other industry-wide safety improvement RPs, our strategic approach to safety improvement through the Pipeline Safety Excellence Performance Report and Strategic Plan, adoption with PHMSA and the Pipeline Safety Trust of a set of “meaningful metrics,” as recommended by NTSB, to measure safety progress, and the evolution of industry-wide strategic planning to include performance measures to gauge progress.

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