As required by the 2012 amendments to the Pipeline Safety Act, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) released a report examining the ability of transmission pipeline operators to respond to releases in high consequence areas (HCAs). The report titled, “Better Data and Guidance Needed to Improve Pipeline Operator Incident Response,” concludes that (1) DOT should improve incident response data to evaluate whether to implement a performance- based framework for incident response times, (2) installation of automated valves should be decided on a case by case basis because the advantages and disadvantages are specific to the valve’s location, and (3) DOT should share existing guidance and operator evaluations and analyses regarding whether to install automated valves. Click here to review the report.