Skills and Experience for Effectively Designing Natural Gas Systems

This report is part of an ongoing effort to review the tragic incident that took place in the Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts in September and identify leading practices to avoid such incidents in the future.

The report details a tiered approach to developing a foundational understanding of natural gas systems, improving knowledge about operator-specific processes and procedures, and building technical knowledge. One key for continuous improvement is implementing management of change processes - a leading practice for evaluating and mitigating the risk of significant changes to a pipeline system. The report also highlights the importance of pipeline safety management systems - a holistic approach to enhancing pipeline safety by promoting safety awareness, vigilance and cooperation company-wide. Almost immediately after the incident, AGA also started compiling information from members on over-pressurization, which was identified by NTSB as the cause. AGA took those responses - about equipment, procedures, training, and oversight - organized them, vetted them and identified leading practices. “Leading Practices to Reduce the Possibility of a Natural Gas Over-Pressurization Event” was released on November 26, 2018.