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News Digest DOT 100-16

FTA Launches National Online Dialogue to Seek Ideas for 5-Year Research Strategic Plan
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has launched an online dialogue to inform the agency on how it should position its research program to be forward-thinking to advance access and mobility nationwide. FTA’s 5-Year Research Strategic Plan Online Dialogue, which runs this week through September 8, 2016, provides a forum for stakeholders to discuss ideas for what types of research FTA should consider and which pathways can best translate proven research solutions into new and better ways of doing business. The U.S. Department of Transportation is developing a Departmental-level, five-year transportation research and development strategic plan to guide future federal activities.  As part of that effort, FTA is crafting an agency-focused strategic plan to set investment priorities and guide funding decisions at FTA associated with advancing innovative public transportation research and development. To increase participation and the quality of responses, FTA is hosting a webinar on Thursday, August 11, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. EDT. Contact: Valerie Berton 202-366-2581.

Pipeline Failure Investigation Results in Notice of Probable Violation and Proposed Civil Penalties for National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) proposed civil penalties totaling $202,900 and issued a Notice of Probable Violation and a Proposed Compliance Order to National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation after concluding its investigation into the March 6, 2015 natural gas pipeline failure at the operator’s Beech Hill Compressor Station near Wellsville, New York. The incident occurred after a start gas regulator for the compressors at the facility failed, causing a pressure increase in the piping downstream of the regulator that exceeded the line’s maximum allowable operating pressure. The NOPV identifies four probable violations of Federal pipeline safety regulations, including a failure to ensure that each compressor station has pressure relief devices of sufficient capacity, insufficient procedures for analyzing accidents and failures, and failing to notify the National Response Center of the regulator failure and subsequent fire which required an emergency shutdown of the station within the required timeframe. Review the details of the enforcement case here. Contact for media: Artealia Gilliard (202) 366-4831.

PHMSA Issues Notice of Probable Violation and Proposes Civil Penalties to Kinder Morgan-Wink Pipeline, LP for Pipeline Safety Violations. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) today proposed civil penalties totaling $183,800 and issued a Notice of Probable Violation and a Proposed Compliance Order to Kinder Morgan-Wink Pipeline, LP for possible violations of Federal pipeline safety regulations discovered during an integrated inspection of the operator's Wink pipeline system in Texas. Among the violations alleged are the operator's failure to meet record-keeping requirements and ensure the integrity of above-ground breakout tanks, failing to inspect and maintain cathodic protection systems used to control corrosion, and a failure to correctly determine maximum operating pressure for multiple pipeline systems. Integrated inspections are prioritized based on system-specific risk information to focus on programs, geographic areas, and threats that pose higher risks. Kinder Morgan is the largest energy infrastructure company in North America. The Wink pipeline is a 450-mile intrastate pipeline transporting crude oil from Scurry County, Texas, to El Paso, Texas. Review the details of the enforcement case here. Contact for media: Artealia Gilliard (202) 366-4831.

 

Updated: Friday, August 5, 2016
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