The Agency announced a public workshop to discuss the voluntary Pipeline Safety Management Systems (SMS) national consensus standard on April 22, 2015 in Houston, Texas. This standard, Recommended Practice (RP) 1173, has been in development by the American Petroleum Institute (API) for some time now as a result of the NTSB’s Investigation of the Marshall, Michigan incident.
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As part of a 2014 industry initiative, the Association of Oil Pipelines and the American Petroleum Institute prepared its first “Annual Liquid Pipeline Safety Performance Report” (the Report).  Despite several high profile pipeline incidents in the past few years and increased PHMSA enforcement activity, these statistics reflect that PHMSA pipeline safety regulations and industry efforts over the past ten years have been successful in improving pipeline safety.

  • The number of releases from liquid pipelines decreased 62% over the last ten years (based on three year averages).
  • While the volume of barrels of crude or petroleum product transported has increased, the amount released over the last ten years decreased by 47% (based on three year averages).
  • Releases caused by corrosion decreased by 79%, third party damage by 78% and those caused by material defects, seam and weld failures decreased by 31% (based on three year averages).


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