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U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx Appoints 24 Members to the New Pipeline Safety Voluntary Information-Sharing System Working Group

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

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:

PHMSA Representative

PHMSA Representative

Name

Title

Organization

Alan Mayberry

Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

State Public Utility Commissioners/State Officials

State Public Utility Commissioners/State Officials

Name

Title

Organization

Diane Burman

Commissioner

New York State Public Service Commission

Sherina Edwards

Commissioner

Illinois Commerce Commission

State Pipeline Safety Inspectors

State Pipeline Safety Inspectors

Name

Title

Organization

Joe Subsits

Chief Pipeline Safety Engineer

Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission

Michelle Thebert

Director, Facilities Protection Unit

Georgia Public Service Commission

Safety Advocacy Groups

Safety Advocacy Groups

Name

Title

Organization

Kate Blystone

Outreach Manager

Pipeline Safety Trust

Dr. Simona Perry

Research Director and Founder

Pipeline Safety Coalition

Labor Representatives

Labor Representatives

Name

Title

Organization

John MacNeill

National Safety Director

Utility Workers Union of America

Eric Sherman

Legislative Assistant

Native American Contractors Association

Walter Jones

Associate Director of Occupational Safety & Health

Laborers’ Health & Safety Fund of North America

Industry Stakeholders

Industry Stakeholders

Name

Title

Organization

Leif Jensen

Senior Director of Asset Integrity

Sunoco Logistics

Dan Cote

Vice President of Pipeline Safety & Compliance

NiSource Gas

Eric Amundsen

Vice President

Panhandle Energy/Energy Transfer Partners

Bryce Brown

Vice President, Group Strategy Management

The ROSEN Group

Jason Cradit

Senior Director of Technology

TRC Oil and Gas

Alicia Farag

President & CEO

LocusView Solutions

Mark Zuniga

Vice President of Information Technology

UniversalPegasus International, Inc.

Robert Buchanan

General Manager

Seal for Life Industries

Christopher Warner

Senior Vice President

Mears Group, Inc.

Mike LaMont

Vice President

Integrity Plus

Mark Hereth

Principal

Process Performance Improvement Consultants

Research Institutions

Research Institutions

Name

Title

Organization

Dr. Yiming Deng

Associate Professor

Michigan State University

Michael Keller

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering

University of Tulsa

 

Other Entities

Other Entities

Name

Title

Organization

Holly Pearen

Senior Attorney

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.

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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
Phone: 202-366-5471