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FOSA praises PHMSA’s safety and development announcement

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World Pipelines,

The Fiber Optic Sensing Association (FOSA), the nation’s trade association dedicated to fibre optic sensing, has recently praised the PHMSA announcement at its Pipeline Safety Research and Development Forum in Virginia, US, that it is working toward the creation of an agency sponsored Pipeline Safety Facility, possibly collocated at the DOT’s Transportation Technology Centre (TTCI) in Colorado, US.

“FOSA applauds PHMSA Administrator Skip Elliott’s leadership toward creating a Pipeline Safety Facility” said FOSA Chairman Mike Hines. “The test facility announcement represents another giant step towards the realisation of such a capability, which we believe will dramatically improve pipeline safety in the US.”

Following its discussions with numerous pipeline operators, FOSA had previously called for government and the pipeline industry to work together to establish a pipeline safety test facility. Based on operator input, FOSA issued a concept paper suggesting a buried ‘flow-loop’ pipeline to emulate leaking pipes under real-world environmental conditions.

FOSA’s paper also envisaged use of the facility to test ‘smart pigs’ and other internal pipeline devices, as well as techniques for safely retrofitting new technologies on existing pipelines. Since then, language authorising a Pipeline Safety Facility has been included in the US Senate’s bipartisan agency reauthorisation bill, S. 2299 (Sections 105 & 106).

“The Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Railroad Administration, Federal Highway Administration, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and others have facilities for validation of new technologies and techniques, but no such facility exists for pipelines. We believe a comprehensive pipeline test facility operating under real-world conditions would benefit both the public and the pipeline industry” said FOSA Executive Director Mark Uncapher.

About the Fiber Optic Sensing Association

FOSA is a non-profit organisation created in Washington DC in 2017 with the mission of educating industry, government and the public on the benefits of fibre optic sensing. Through webinars, videos, white papers, public presentations and public policy advocacy, the organisation provides information on the use of fibre optic sensing to secure critical facilities, enhance public safety and protect the environment. FOSA Members include AP Sensing, ASELSAN, Asymmetric Technologies, Corning, Ditch Witch, Dura-Line, Hifi Engineering, Graz University, NEC Corp. Network Integrity Systems, NKT Photonics, OFS, Omnisens, OptaSense, OZ Optics, Prysmian Group, Sensonic (Frauscher Sensonic), Smartpipe Technologies, the Weir-Jones Group, University of California, Berkeley.

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PHMSA pipeline news