NTSB Faults Pipeline Safety Oversight
Friday, November 16, 2012
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has said the U.S. pipeline industry needs more federal oversight.
Pipeline safety is one of six items on the agency’s “Most Wanted List” for 2013. The others were electronic-device distractions, fire safety, infrastructure integrity, positive train control and motor vehicle collision avoidance technologies.
NTSB can only investigate accidents and make safety recommendations. Department of Transportation bureaus monitor and regulate interstate pipelines.
There were 34 serious pipeline incidents both in 2010 and 2011, a decline from previous years, but NTSB said, “The consequences when something does go wrong are far too large to fail to improve pipeline safety.”
It said many of those accidents occurred because the pipeline operator's safety program was insufficient to identify potential problems. It said federal agencies should routinely review companies’ management and inspection protocols.
For more information: www.ntsb.gov