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PHMSA appoints new members to pipeline advisory committees

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World Pipelines,

The US Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has announced the appointments of several new members to existing vacancies on its Technical Pipeline Safety Standards Committee and its Technical Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Standards Committee.

The two committees, informally referred to as the Gas Pipeline Advisory Committee (GPAC) and the Liquid Pipeline Advisory Committee (LPAC), or collectively as Pipeline Advisory Committees, review PHMSA's proposed pipeline safety standards and provide recommendations on their technical feasibility, reasonableness, cost-effectiveness and practicability.

"Pipeline Safety Advisory Committees are important peer review panels and public sounding boards for the Department's development of new regulations and other pipeline safety issues," said US Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx. "Their open, impartial, and equally represented view offers recommendations borne out of balanced and robust conversations."

The GPAC and LPAC meet routinely to review proposed pipeline safety standards and provide advice and recommendations to PHMSA. Each 15 member committee is comprised of individuals from the government, industry and the public.

New members to the GPAC are:

Government representatives:

  • David Danner, Chairman of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Committee.
  • Steve Allen, Director of the Pipeline Safety Division for the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.
  • Terry Turpin, Deputy Director of the Office of Energy Projects at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Public representative:

  • Sara Rollet Gosman, Assistant Professor at the University of Arkansas School of Law and Vice President of the Pipeline Safety Trust.

New members to the PLAC are:

Government representatives:

  • Kristie Fiegen, Vice Chair of the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission.
  • Norman Saari, Commissioner on the Michigan Public Service Commission.
  • Jeffrey G. Lantz, Director, Commercial Regulations and Standards, US Coast Guard.

Public representative:

  • David Barnett, Special Representative in the Pipeline and Gas Distribution Department of the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters.

"PHMSA's Pipeline Safety Advisory Committees are critical to our regulatory development process," said PHMSA Administrator, Marie Therese Dominguez.

“With the appointment of these new members, both committees are fully staffed with persons representing diverse interests, experience and communities. This is important as the committees work to openly review and provide recommendations to help PHMSA develop safety requirements that offer the best possible protections for the Nation's natural gas and hazardous liquid pipeline system."

PHMSA encourages public participation in the rulemaking process, and invites the public to attend and make a statement during the advisory committee meetings. The committees advise PHMSA on proposed safety standards, including the risk assessment information and other analyses supporting each proposed standard for the nation's 2.6 million mile natural gas and hazardous liquid pipeline network.

Each advisory committee is statutorily mandated, as prescribed under 49 U.S.C. § 60115, and provides the Secretary of Transportation the authority to appoint to each committee: (1) five individuals from departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the US Government and of the states; (2) five individuals from the natural gas or hazardous liquid industry, selected in consultation with industry representatives; and (3) five individuals selected from the general public. Section 60115(b)(4)(A) further directs the Secretary to appoint state commissioners to the category of individuals selected from departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the US Government and of the states.

The GPAC will meet on 11 – 12 January 2017. PHMSA also plans to hold a meeting of the LPAC in early 2017.

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