PHMSA Forum Provides Best Safety Practices from a Regulator and Industry Perspective

The PHMSA (Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration) Pipeline Safety Forum took place on Thursday, April 22 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. CT.  

Hosted by Kevin Garrity (MEARS) the forum offered best pipeline safety practices and the latest developments from both a regulator and industry perspective. Policymakers, regulators, and stakeholders discussed the role of PHMSA and other agencies in improving pipeline safety and asset integrity.  

During the presentation, Carl Weimer spoke about the newest agency and federal administration efforts, as well as PHMSA’s call for better leak detection and mitigation in pipelines.  

Vince Murchison (Murchison Law Firm) highlighted the importance of keeping good records in case of an incident investigation: “Recordkeeping is a very frequently cited violation,” Murchison said. “A very well organized and thorough document development and retention program will go a long way toward having the records you need when you need them.”

Amy Shank (Williams) recalled an incident in which stress corrosion cracking (SCC) caused a pipeline failure and detailed how her company began using inline inspection tools to prevent such incidents.

Garrity took a moment to mention how far the industry has come in talking about not only incidents and but also remedial actions. “When we first started these presentations,” he said, “it was very difficult to get operators to ‘peel back the onion’ and share these details.”

Finally, Alan Mayberry (PHMSA), provided details about PHMSA’s role in pipeline safety regulation. He said that PHMSA’s focus is performance, to keep the product in the pipeline. “Our focus is on safety at PHMSA,” said Mayberry.

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