The Partnership for Excellence in Pipeline Safety is authorized under a Cooperative Agreement between the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
In establishing the Partnership, NASFM has accepted PHMSA's challenge of achieving "zero pipeline incidents." Pipeline safety is a shared responsibility. NASFM's share of that responsibility will be to mobilize America's emergency responders and the communities they serve to help prevent, safely mitigate and investigate pipeline incidents.
Pipelines are our safest and most reliable means of transporting the fuels critical to our society. No one benefits from a single accident involving our nation's pipelines. To help ensure the safety of America's vast and growing pipeline infrastructure, The National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) has partnered with the US Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), which administers the nation's pipeline safety program through the Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS).
The resulting Partnership for Excellence in Pipeline Safety has set a goal of zero pipeline incidents.
But the safety and reliability of our nation's pipelines is a shared responsibility, and in order to achieve the goal of zero, NASFM will rely on the experience and lessons learned from the many existing pipeline safety programs, from federal, state and local regulators involved with pipeline safety, from industries that use and operate pipelines, and from communities with pipelines in their backyards.
The Partnership will go beyond the traditional agencies and organizations engaged in pipeline safety. Ultimately, the program will not focus on simply doing what is required, but on achieving a level of excellence that far exceeds minimum safety standards.
We are the companies that build, own, operate and maintain the millions of miles of gas and liquid pipelines that criss-cross our nation, our states and our communities. We are serious about the safety of our pipelines - but we can't do it alone. That is why we are proud to be part of this program, and we are committed to working with government regulators, emergency responders and the communities we serve and live in to prevent pipeline accidents.
Association of Oil Pipelines
The Association of Oil Pipelines (APL) was founded in 1947 as a nonprofit trade association. AOPL acts as an information clearinghouse for the public and a representative on regulatory matters, and it provides leadership for the industry's safety initiatives
AOPL represents the owners and operators of the 200,000-mile pipeline system that transports crude oil and refined products throughout America. The Association believes that this pipeline system is not only the most efficient and safest form of transporting these products over long distances, but also is vital to America's economy and standard of living. AOPL members are committed to the reliable and safe delivery of petroleum products and seek to fulfill this commitment with the following vision for the oil pipeline industry:
AOPL's vision is an oil pipeline industry that conducts operations safely and with respect for the environment; respects the privilege to operate granted to it by the public; and provides reliable transportation of crude oil and refined products upon which America and all Americans rely to meet its energy and transportation needs.
For more information on AOPL and its initiatives please visit their website at: http://www.aopl.org.
Common Ground Alliance
The Common Ground Alliance (CGA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to shared responsibility in damage prevention and the promotion of damage prevention Best Practices. The mission of CGA is to ensure public safety, environmental protection, and the integrity of vital underground services by promoting effective damage prevention practices.
The Common Ground Alliance (CGA) remains the leading organization in the national effort to reduce damages to all underground facilities through shared responsibility among all stakeholders. Now representing more than 900 individuals from 15 stakeholder groups and over 125 member organizations, the CGA offers an open forum of all interested stakeholders to discuss the most effective ways to protect the underground infrastructure during excavation activity.
The Alliance works cooperatively to enhance underground damage prevention by:
- fostering a sense of shared responsibility for the protection of underground facilities;
- supporting research;
- developing and conducting public awareness and education programs;
- identifying and disseminating the stakeholder best practices such as those embodied in
- the Common Ground Study; and
- serving as a clearinghouse for damage data collection, analysis and dissemination.
During the past three years, the CGA has grown tremendously and has taken on a wide range of damage prevention initiatives. Significant progress has been made in communicating the CGA message to stakeholders and encouraging adoption of the CGA best practices at the local level. During 2003, the CGA announced the completion of a database to serve as a repository for damage data throughout North America, assisted the Research & Special Programs Administration's Office of Pipeline Safety with closing multiple outstanding recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and welcomed eight additional Regional CGA Partners.
To learn more about the Common Ground Alliance and the initiatives underway, visit the Common Ground Alliance web site at http://www.commongroundalliance.com or contact the CGA office at 703-818-3274.
The Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA)
Interstate Natural Gas Association of America is a trade organization, which represents nearly all of the interstate natural gas transmission pipeline companies in the United States as well as companies in Mexico and Canada. INGAA is an advocate of regulatory and legislative issues for the natural gas pipeline industry.
The Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) is a trade organization that advocates regulatory and legislative positions of importance to the natural gas pipeline industry in North America. INGAA represents virtually all of the interstate natural gas transmission pipeline companies operating in the U.S., as well as comparable companies in Canada and Mexico. Its members transport over 95 percent of the nation's natural gas through a network of 180,000 miles of pipelines. The interstate natural gas pipeline industry has two principle federal regulators: the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is responsible for the economic regulation of pipelines, while the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of Pipeline Safety oversees the industry's safety efforts.
The INGAA Foundation was established in 1990 to "facilitate the construction and operation of interstate and interprovincial natural gas pipelines so as to advance the use of natural gas for the benefit of the consuming public and the natural gas industry." Foundation membership is made up of pipelines as well as suppliers of goods and services to the pipeline industry. The primary activity of the Foundation is the sponsorship of studies aimed at unlocking the potential of natural gas as North America's premium domestic fuel.
To learn more about the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America their web site at http://www.ingaa.org.
American Petroleum Institute
The American Petroleum Institute (API) represents more than 400 companies involved in all aspects of the oil and natural gas industry, including exploration, production, transportation, refining and marketing. API's pipeline members represent over 80 percent of the oil pipeline mileage operated in the US.
API serves its members by influencing public policy in support of a strong and viable U.S. oil and natural gas industry to meet the energy needs of consumers in an efficient, environmentally responsible manner. API engages in federal and state legislative and regulatory advice that is based on sound science and research; technical, legal and economic analysis; and public issues communication. API also provides an industry forum to develop consensus policies and collective action on issues affecting its members. API works collaboratively with all industry oil and gas associations and other organizations to enhance industry unity and the effectiveness of its advocacy.
The oil pipeline industry and the fire marshals have a common interest in ensuring that first responders from all disciplines have the training and tools necessary to protect their own lives and the lives of people who may live or work along pipeline rights of way. Although pipeline accidents are very rare events, the consequences are significant and first responders must have the training materials, courses and other necessary tools so that they can respond quickly and effectively. But an even greater good can be achieved through prevention. API applauds this initiative for addressing the role of the fire service in assisting in protecting underground facilities of all types from third party damage. In the pipeline industry, we have found that educating the public and right of way neighbors in particular is challenging. By enlisting the fire service in this important work, not only will energy pipelines be protected, but so too will other essential underground services, including 9-1-1 telephone service, water systems for fire fighting and telecommunications for emergency response.
Information about API and its programs can be found at www.api.org Within API, the Pipeline Segment works on issues specific to the oil pipeline industry. Educational information about pipelines and pipeline safety can be found at www.pipeline101.org.
American Gas Association
The American Gas Association represents over 180 local energy utility companies that deliver natural gas to more than 52 million homes, businesses, and industries throughout the United States. AGA is an advocate for local natural gas utility companies, and provides a broad range of programs and services for member natural gas pipelines, marketers, gatherers, international gas companies and industry associates
The American Gas Association advocates the interests of its energy utility members and their customers, and provides information and services promoting demand and supply growth and operational excellence in the safe, reliable and cost-competitive delivery of natural gas. To further this mission, AGA:
- Focuses on the advocacy of natural gas issues that are priorities for the energy membership and that are achievable in a cost-effective way;
- Encourages and assists members in sharing information designed to achieve operational excellence by improving their security, safety, reliability, efficiency, and environmental and other performance;
- Assists members in managing industry transition and in responding to customer energy needs, natural gas markets, and emerging technologies;
- Collects and analyzes timely data and disseminates information to policy makers and the public about energy utilities and the natural gas industry;
- Serves as a voice on behalf of the energy utility industry and promotes natural gas demand growth by emphasizing before a variety of audiences the energy efficiency, environmental and other benefits of natural gas and promotes natural gas supply growth by emphasizing public policies favorable to increased supplies and lower prices to consumers; and
- Ensures that members understand and appreciate the value of AGA membership.
For More information on AGA please visit: http://www.aga.org.
We are your local elected officials, fellow residents, business owners, teachers, community volunteers, firefighters and police who understand the importance of pipelines to our way of life. We also know that preventing pipeline accidents is a shared responsibility.
The Pipeline Safety Trust
The Pipeline Safety Trust promotes fuel transportation safety through education and advocacy, by increasing access to information, and by building partnerships with residents, safety advocates, government, and industry, that result in safer communities and a healthier environment.
For more information on the Pipeline Safety Trust visit: http://www.pstrust.org/.
Danielle Dawn Smalley Foundation
The Danielle Dawn Smalley Foundation is dedicated to educating people about the potential dangers of living and working near the high-pressure gas pipelines crisscrossing America. The Foundation will establish working relationships with local, county, state and federal regulatory and emergency response organizations.
For more information on the Danielle Dawn Smalley Foundation visit: http://www.smalleyfnd.org/.
Public Officials for Pipeline Safety
Public Officials for Pipeline Safety are federal, state and local officials who are responsible for ensuring the personal and economic well being of individuals in our communities. Safe and reliable pipelines are an essential part of that equation.
The National Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives (NAPSR)
The National Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives ("NAPSR" or "Association") is a non-profit organization of state pipeline safety personnel who serve to promote pipeline safety in the United States and its territories. The Association supports the safe delivery of pipeline products by working closely with USDOT's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration ("PHMSA"), the industry and other interested organizations.
Regional Breakdown of National Pipeline Safety Representatives
The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners
The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) is a non-profit organization founded in 1889. Its members include the governmental agencies that are engaged in the regulation of utilities and carriers in the fifty States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. NARUC's member agencies regulate the activities of telecommunications, energy, and water utilities.
NARUC's mission is to serve the public interest by improving the quality and effectiveness of public utility regulation. Under State law, NARUC's members have the obligation to ensure the establishment and maintenance of utility services as may be required by the public convenience and necessity, and to ensure that such services are provided at rates and conditions that are just, reasonable and nondiscriminatory for all consumers.
Trains, planes, subways, buses, and other forms of public transportation that contain flammable components.
How we see the challenge.
Mass transit agencies are under constant economic pressure, yet efficiently and safely move tens of millions of people daily. Not many fires occur in mass transit, but if they do, the ramifications are great: even a single significant fire involving mass transit can destroy costly infrastructure and undermine riders' confidence, in addition to endangering many lives. These environments have inherent heat sources that might develop malfunctions (such as short circuits or overheated engines), or passengers may carry on additional ignition sources (such as cigarette lighters). If a fire occurs, the combination of an unfamiliar environment, limited exits, low visibility and high stress makes evacuating people calmly and safely a real challenge. Preventing mass transit fires in the first place, or limiting their spread if ignition does occur, are priorities of fire prevention officials.
What is the National Association of State Fire Marshals doing about flammability issues related to mass transit interiors?
In late 2008, NASFM completed Phase I of a grant agreement with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation to address the fire safety factor of the fire performance of the materials and products used in the construction of the interiors of railcars and buses. The project comprised research into the adequacy of existing railcar and bus fire safety standards and an investigation of potential improvements in test methods and criteria.
To achieve the goals of the Grant Agreement, NASFM formed a Technical Advisory Committee consisting of emergency responders, mass transit experts and scientists. The Committee conducted most of its work by email and met in May 2008 to review research and formulate recommendations.
NASFM retained the highly regarded materials experts from Underwriters Laboratories to conduct flammability research for this project. The research conducted by UL for this project focused most strongly on preventing fires from occurring in the first place, and keeping fires small if they do occur, so that the results are easier to manage.
The UL research indicates that existing bench-scale tests do not predict real-world fire performance of materials available for use in the interiors of rail cars and buses. However, other well-known and commonly used fire testing methods may be used to select materials able to withstand typical mass transit fire ignition sources. This avoids additional testing expense for materials producers.