INGAA Responds To NTSB Recommendations

November 2011, Vol. 66 No. 11

Don Santa, president and CEO of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, says his association’s Pipeline Safety Task Force’s Integrity Management Continuous Improvement (IMCI) team is implementing action plans that address the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) recommendations on the San Bruno, CA, natural gas pipeline incident.

The explosion occurred in December 2010. Eight persons were killed and many others injured because of the accident.

“INGAA’s Pipeline Safety Task Force’s Integrity Management Continuous Improvement (IMCI) team is implementing action plans that address NTSB’s recommendations. Our focus now is prioritizing and working with the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration to achieve the goals reflected in these recommendations. In December 2010, INGAA’s board of directors established a board-level task force to pursue further improvements in the industry’s safety performance and expand public confidence in the natural gas pipeline infrastructure.”

In March 2011, INGAA members adopted a set of Guiding Principles for pipeline safety, which included a goal of zero incidents. In July 2011, INGAA members agreed to a multi-faceted action plan to achieve this aggressive safety goal.

The action plan includes:
• Expand risk management beyond high consequence areas (HCAs);
• Raise the standard for corrosion anomaly management;
• Demonstrate fitness for service on pre-regulation pipelines;
• Shorten pipeline isolation and response time to one hour;
• Improve integrity management communication and data;
• Implement the Pipelines and Informed Planning Alliance (PIPA) Guidance;
• Evaluate, refine and improve threat assessment and mitigation;
• Foster a culture of continuous improvement; and
• Engage public officials and emergency response.

“INGAA is focusing on these tasks and others using a team of industry and technical experts and will post updates as the work progresses. INGAA encourages dialogue with all pipeline safety stakeholders,” says Santa.