Safety practices for transmission pipelines By Robert Joyce

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In a report released by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) on December 16, 2010, the Agency unveiled consensus recommendations for property development near existing transmission pipelines. The report, entitled Partnering to Further Enhance Pipeline Safety in Communities Through Risk-Informed Land Use Planning, was prepared by the Pipeline and Informed Planning Alliance (PIPA) which is a coalition made up of more than 130 individuals from the pipeline industry, land development industry, government, and safety organizations. The Alliance is sponsored by the PHMSA Office of Pipeline Safety.

According to the document, PIPA’s goal was to “reduce risks and improve the safety of affected communities and transmission pipelines through implementation of recommended practices related to risk-informed land use near transmission pipelines.” The report represents the initial effort of PIPA to develop recommended practices for pipelines, land owners and developers, local governments and real estate boards to implement on a voluntary basis. The report, however, only addresses transmission pipelines and is not intended to apply to production, gathering and distribution pipeline systems. PIPA plans to continue working on an implementation strategy to enhance communication and understanding of the best practices outlined in the report.

This article authored by McAfee & Taft Attorney: Robert Joyce.

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