Following is a brief discussion on PHMSA’s efforts to characterize state damage prevention programs.
To promote and strengthen state damage prevention programs, PHMSA has reached out to key stakeholders in each state to consider and characterize their state damage prevention programs. The key stakeholders primarily included the state pipeline safety office and one-call center representatives. These stakeholders, in most cases, have sufficient knowledge, experience, and understanding of damage prevention within their states to evaluate the statewide programs as they relate to the nine elements of effective damage prevention programs cited by Congress in the Pipeline Inspection, Protection, Enforcement and Safety (PIPES) Act of 2006.
The initial State Damage Prevention Program Characterization (SDPPC) evaluations were conducted in 2009-2010 and the results were reported on this website. (Click here to see the original results.) To support the initial characterization evaluations, PHMSA developed a series of questions to help ensure consistency in characterizing the state programs. In 2011-2012 an updated and easier to use program characterization tool was developed and an effort to update the SDPPC evaluations was begun.
The updated characterization evaluations are self-conducted by the stakeholder representatives in each state. The results of the update effort are shown on the SDPPC Results page. Participants were also asked to briefly summarize the results, key points, challenges and initiatives underway relative to underground facility damage prevention for their states. Those summaries are available.
If you have questions, comments or suggestions regarding your state damage prevention program, or if you have an interest in obtaining a more detailed explanation of the results, contact Annmarie.Robertson@dot.gov or contact involved stakeholders within the state. PHMSA will compile any feedback comments received and forward them to the appropriate state points of contact. PHMSA believes that damage prevention is best addressed at the state level. We hope that the results of the SDPPC initiative and your feedback will promote discussions within the states on ways to further strengthen damage prevention programs.
PHMSA will continue to evaluate options for updating the state damage prevention program characterizations to maintain current information. We believe the SDPPC initiative is valuable and we are encouraged by the responses we have received to-date. We plan to continue to review the characterization tool and process, and determine a path forward that will continue to produce meaningful results and information useful to state-level stakeholders who are working to improve their damage prevention programs.