Washington, DC – The American Gas Association (AGA) today participated in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Pipeline Safety Forum. The purpose of the forum is to bring together local natural gas utilities, pipeline operators, regulators, state officials and the public in order to discuss steps for improving the safety and efficiency of the nation’s pipeline infrastructure.
“We are pleased that Secretary LaHood is taking such an active role surrounding safety in the natural gas industry,” said Dave McCurdy, president and CEO of AGA. “Now more than ever, natural gas is a critical energy source for our nation, and we are committed to the safe, reliable delivery of this energy to the 175 million Americans who use it every day. AGA and our members are continually working with key stakeholders to advance the safety of the industry and we’re pleased to continue that commitment with Secretary LaHood.”
AGA is advocating for legislation that includes strong enforcement of the Dial 811 – Call Before You Dig program, with no exemptions. Where it is economically, technically and operationally feasible, AGA supports the use of automatic shutoff valves and remote control valves on transmission lines that are being constructed or entirely replaced, and the use of Excess Flow Valves for distribution branch services, multi-family facilities, and small commercial facilities.
McCurdy added “Safety is our top priority and any incident is one too many. Through bipartisan pipeline safety reauthorization, including effective safety provisions, implementation of the Distribution Integrity Management Program and continued success as a result of the operator qualification rule, we are working to make the safest mode of transportation, even safer.”
Three AGA members participated in panels during the forum to discuss the safety of the system, top priorities and challenges and solutions.
“Safety is our top priority and it’s something operators are focused on from morning till night,” said Scott Cisel, chairman, president and CEO of Ameren Illinois. “We are members of the communities in which we serve, and we take the commitment to safety seriously both on a personal and professional level. We want what our neighbors, friends and family want—safe and reliable access to energy—this is our goal every day.” Cisel represented the AGA Safety Committee.
AGA’s presentations from the form can be accessed here.