We just released our “Commitment To Enhancing Safety” document. The document was put together by AGA staff and member companies to clearly show what’s being done to make natural gas as safe an energy source as can be. I’m listed the bullet points here but you can get the full document in the safety section on the AGA website or read the press release.
Building Pipelines for Safety
- Expand requirements of the Operator Qualification (OQ) rule to include new construction of distribution and transmission pipelines.
- Review established Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) procedures associated with pipeline construction to ensure adequacy of oversight and confirm that operator construction practices and procedures are followed.
Emergency Shutoff Valves
- Support the use of automatic shutoff and/or remote control valves where economically, technically and operationally feasible on transmission lines that are being newly constructed or entirely replaced. Develop guidelines for consideration of automatic shutoff and remote control valves on transmission lines that are already in service. We commit to working with appropriate regulatory agencies to develop criteria.
- Expand the use of excess flow valves to new and fully replaced distribution branch services, small multi-family facilities, and small commercial facilities where economically, technically and operationally feasible.
Operating Pipelines Safely
- Continue to advance integrity management programs and principles to mitigate system specific risks. This includes operational activities as well as the repair, replacement or rehabilitation of pipelines and associated facilities where it will most improve safety and reliability.
- Develop industry guidelines for data management to advance data quality and knowledge related to pipeline integrity.
- Support development of processes and guidelines that enable the tracking and traceability of new pipeline components.
Excavation Damage Prevention
- Support strong enforcement of the 811 – Call Before You Dig program through state damage prevention laws.
- Improve the level of engagement between the operator and excavators working in the immediate vicinity of the operator’s pipelines.
Enhancing Pipeline Safety
Safety Knowledge Sharing
- Review programs currently utilized for the sharing of safety information. Identify and implement models that will enhance safety knowledge exchange among operators, contractors, government and the public.
Stakeholder Engagement and Emergency Response
- Evaluate methods to more effectively communicate with public officials, excavators, consumers, safety advocates and members of the public about the presence of pipelines. Implement tested and proven communication methods to enhance those communications.
- Partner with emergency responders to share information and improve emergency response coordination.
Pipeline Planning Engagement
- Work with a coalition of Pipelines and Informed Planning Alliance (PIPA) Guidance stakeholders to increase awareness of risk based land use options and adopt existing PIPA recommended best practices.
Advancing Technology Development
- Increase investment, continue participation, and support research, development and deployment of technologies to improve safety. Evaluate and appropriately implement new technological advances.