U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx Appoints 24 Members to the New Pipeline Safety Voluntary Information-Sharing System Working Group
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) today announced the appointment of 24 members to the new pipeline safety Voluntary Information-Sharing System (VIS) Working Group. The VIS Working Group is a newly created advisory committee that will provide the Secretary of Transportation with advice and recommendations related to pipeline safety, including whether an information-sharing system for pipeline owners and operators is needed, ways to encourage the exchange of pipeline inspection information, and best practices for protecting proprietary and security-sensitive information.
“This is an important step to enhancing safety and making it easier to share best practices,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “The new VIS Working Group will not only utilize the expertise of the pipeline industry, but it will encourage collaboration in the way information is used and exchanged regarding pipeline assets and activities to impact safety.”
The final appointments for the VIS Working Group were made today by Secretary Foxx based on the requirements in the November 8 Federal Register notice requesting nominations.
The members of the VIS Working Group are:
Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
State Public Utility Commissioners/State Officials
New York State Public Service Commission
Illinois Commerce Commission
State Pipeline Safety Inspectors
Chief Pipeline Safety Engineer
Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission
Director, Facilities Protection Unit
Georgia Public Service Commission
Safety Advocacy Groups
Pipeline Safety Trust
Dr. Simona Perry
Research Director and Founder
Pipeline Safety Coalition
National Safety Director
Utility Workers Union of America
Native American Contractors Association
Associate Director of Occupational Safety & Health
Laborers’ Health & Safety Fund of North America
Senior Director of Asset Integrity
Vice President of Pipeline Safety & Compliance
Panhandle Energy/Energy Transfer Partners
Vice President, Group Strategy Management
The ROSEN Group
Senior Director of Technology
TRC Oil and Gas
President & CEO
Vice President of Information Technology
UniversalPegasus International, Inc.
Seal for Life Industries
Senior Vice President
Mears Group, Inc.
Process Performance Improvement Consultants
Dr. Yiming Deng
Michigan State University
Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering
University of Tulsa
Environmental Defense Fund
The VIS Working Group will discuss collaborative efforts to improve pipeline inspection information sharing. The group will develop recommendations on how to best establish a voluntary information-sharing system to exchange and protect pipeline safety and inspection-related data.
“Voluntary information sharing is a critical next step in achieving a greater safety threshold in the pipeline industry,” said PHMSA Administrator Marie Therese Dominguez. “Today’s appointments by Secretary Foxx task a diverse and robust group of experts with providing critical recommendations in how we can use and share data to further improve pipeline safety.”
Specifically, the VIS Working Group will offer recommendations on the best ways to:
- Identify the need for a system to confidentially share pipeline dig verification data with in-line inspection operators;
- Encourage the sharing of pipeline inspection information and the development of advanced pipeline inspection technologies;
- Share data to increase knowledge of the advantages and disadvantages of the varying types of in-line inspection technologies;
- Create a secure system that protects proprietary information while also encouraging information sharing and the development of advanced pipeline inspection technologies;
- Protect safety- and security-sensitive information, as well as proprietary information; and
- Determine associated regulatory, funding, and legal issues.
The VIS Working Group’s recommendations will be published on PHMSA’s website.
The VIS Working Group will convene its first meeting on December 19, 2016, at the Hilton Arlington, located at 950 North Stafford Street, Arlington, VA 22203. This meeting will take place from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm and is open to the public. PHMSA will publish the meeting agenda, and any additional information on the VIS Working Group web page at: http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/pipeline/regs/technical-advisory-comm/voluntary-information-sharing-system-working-group.
The mission of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is to protect people and the environment by advancing the safe transportation of energy and other hazardous materials that are essential to our daily lives. PHMSA develops and enforces regulations for the safe operation of the nation's 2.6 million mile pipeline transportation system and the nearly one million daily shipments of hazardous materials by land, sea, and air. Please visit http://phmsa.dot.gov or https://twitter.com/PHMSA_DOT for more information.
Contact: Allie Aguilera