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Pipeline Safety Stakeholder Communications

Pipeline Safety Connects Us All

Characterization of State Damage Prevention Programs

To encourage promotion and strengthening of State damage prevention programs, PHMSA has worked with key stakeholders in each state to 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 their State’s damage prevention programs. Statewide programs were characterized relative to the nine elements of effective damage prevention programs cited by Congress in the Pipeline Inspection, Protection, Enforcement and Safety (PIPES) Act of 2006. State damage prevention program characterization (SDPPC) evaluations were conducted in 2009, 2011, and, most recently, in 2014.

PHMSA initially developed a characterization tool with criteria designed to support and encourage consistency in characterizing each state’s nine-element implementation. The characterization tool was revised for each of the subsequent characterization efforts in 2011 and 2014, based on feedback from the characterization participants, recent changes in State damage prevention laws, and the evolving nature of damage prevention programs and practices across the country.

During the characterization discussions, participants were asked to provide supporting comments and to briefly summarize the results, key points, challenges, and ongoing initiatives relative to underground facility damage prevention for their States. The extent, completeness, and clarity of the supporting comments and input varied, and full results for the most recent completed characterization tools for each state are available on the State Damage Prevention Information pages.

PHMSA performed an analysis of the 2014 SDPPC results.

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. PHMSA will compile any feedback comments received and, as appropriate, forward them to the State points of contact. PHMSA believes that damage prevention is best addressed at the State level and hopes 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. 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.