Don Santa, president and CEO of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, today released the following statement on the National Transportation Safety Board’s decision to include pipelines on its 2013 Most Wanted List of transportation safety issues:
“The natural gas pipeline transmission industry is committed to safe and reliable operations, and takes that commitment seriously. In 2010, INGAA established a board-level pipeline safety task force to pursue ways to further improve the industry’s safety performance. In early 2011, INGAA established five guiding principles of pipeline safety, anchored with an overarching goal of zero pipeline accidents. Since then, we’ve followed through with commitments and concrete actions and are developing performance metrics to ensure that our pipeline safety goals are met.
“INGAA is engaging stakeholders continuously, including the NTSB, federal and state regulators, safety advocates, first responders and the public, to discuss our efforts and conduct a dialogue about the path forward. INGAA members have acted voluntarily, and are moving forward transparently. We understand that regulation often takes time but that pipeline safety is too important to delay.
“INGAA members are addressing all of the issues that the NTSB has outlined as concerns about the pipeline industry, and more. We are ensuring that all pipelines, regardless of their age, are fit for service. We are working to ensure that safety practices are top-notch by issuing guidelines for quality analysis and quality control, providing management system guidance, and implementing new control-room management procedures.
“We have improved maintenance procedures and have gone beyond existing regulation to voluntarily expand the integrity management program to areas outside highly populated areas and have established a roadmap to implement new inspection technologies.
“We are committed to reducing incident response time and are engaging first responders, fire chiefs and other emergency officials.
“INGAA members have taken these steps voluntarily because they recognize that moving natural gas safely and reliably to American families and businesses is more than a job. It’s a commitment.
Read more about INGAA’s pipeline safety initiatives here.