Washington, D.C. – Following is a statement by American Gas Association (AGA) President and CEO Dave McCurdy on the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) hearing on the San Bruno accident investigation:
AGA today commends NTSB for presenting the findings of its almost year-long investigation of the tragic accident in San Bruno on September 9, 2010, and for providing further insight into how Pacific Gas & Electric and the entire pipeline industry can ensure such an accident never happens again. These findings will allow AGA and its member companies the opportunity to reinforce their ongoing commitment to enhancing the safety of the nation’s natural gas utilities and their customers. We thank NTSB for its continued efforts to make the industry safer.
AGA has historically made safety its top priority and has remained committed to improving pipeline operations by being engaged in all aspects of pipeline safety, including the following:
- Working with the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA), the American Petroleum Institute (API), the Association of Oil Pipe Lines (AOPL) and our Canadian counterparts, the Canadian Gas Association and the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, AGA is conducting a comprehensive safety management study to explore initiatives currently utilized by other sectors in the economy, as well as the pipeline industry, to share safety information among operators. It is our hope that by learning from others, the energy pipeline industry can identify and implement a model that will measurably improve pipeline system safety. The safety management study is expected to be completed as early as February 2012.
- Leading the effort to share safety information through the work of 14 technical committees and an operations managing committee that develop and share information, including those issues raised by Secretary of Transportation LaHood, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and NTSB.
- Conducting a number of workshops, teleconferences and other events to share information, and adopting a Safety Culture Statement.
- Advancing three Best Practices Programs (distribution, transmission and supplemental gas) focused on identifying superior performing companies and innovative work practices that can be shared with others to improve operations.
- Creating a board-level safety committee that holds an annual safety summit and has developed a Safety Information Resource Center that includes safety alerts, safety messages, safety statistics and case studies.
- Creating technical task forces focused on addressing a pipeline’s fitness for service, records, maximum allowable operating pressure, automatic and remotely controlled shutoff valves, emergency response and actions the industry can take to further distribution and intrastate transmission pipeline safety.
- Providing regulatory information at regional and national meeting of state utility commissioners and pipeline safety regulators.
- Developing a number of publications dedicated to improving safety and operations across the industry.