EIIP Virtual Forum Presentation February 8, 2006
The Pipeline Emergencies Program
A National Training Curriculum
Community Assistance & Technical Services (CATS) Coordinator for Pipelines
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)
U.S. Department of Transportation
Director, Safe Energy and Transportation Programs
National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM)
Roy L. Marshall
Iowa State Fire Marshal (Retired)
The following version of the transcript has been edited for easier reading and comprehension. A raw, unedited transcript is available from our archives. See our home page at http://www.emforum.org
[Welcome / Introduction]
Amy Sebring: Good morning/afternoon everyone. On behalf of Avagene and myself, welcome to the EIIP Virtual Forum! Our topic today is "The Pipeline Emergencies Program: A National Training Curriculum." If you have not already done so, please check the Background Page at http://www.emforum.org/vforum/060208.htm for links to the training course content and other related information at your convenience.
Now it is my pleasure to introduce today's speakers: Blaine Keener is the Community Assistance & Technical Services (CATS) Coordinator for Pipelines within the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). The CATS Program seeks to facilitate communications among all pipeline safety stakeholders. Blaine manages the Cooperative Agreement with the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM). Blaine holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from Lehigh University and a Masters in Management from the State University of New York at Oswego.
Elizabeth Tucker is the Director of the National Association of State Fire Marshals' Safe Energy and Transportation Programs. Ms. Tucker has worked with NASFM for three years and studied international business at the American University of Rome in Italy.
Roy Marshal served as the Iowa State Fire Marshal from 1989 through 2000. Although now retired, Marshal was active in many related organizations such as the Iowa Association of Building Officials, Iowa Firefighters and Fire Chiefs Associations, the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), National Council of States on Building Codes and Standards, the NFPA Technical Committee on Underground Spaces, and many others. He is still working with the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM).
Welcome to you all, and thank you for joining us today. Blaine will start us off with the project background, Elizabeth will then provide some more details, and finally we will have the fire service perspective from Roy.
Blaine Keener: Thanks Amy. To start off, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is the primary federal agency responsible for ensuring the safe, reliable, and environmentally sound operation of America's energy pipelines. Our Nation's economy and our way of life are dependent on the continual transportation of energy from sources of supply to customers.
The pipeline infrastructure can be segregated into three distinct categories:
1. Hazardous liquids pipelines transport crude oil and refined petroleum products that power nearly all other modes of transportation.
2. Natural gas distribution systems serve over 61 million customers - providing a clean, efficient fuel for residential, commercial, and industrial customers.
3. Gas transmission pipelines transport natural gas at high pressure from production and import areas to gas distribution systems.
In recent years, PHMSA has been emphasizing shared responsibility for pipeline safety. Many different people can have a positive impact on pipeline safety - but they often don't realize it.
Each construction contractor who calls the State One-Call Center before beginning an excavation helps prevent damage to pipelines.
Each local government planner who knows the location of transmission pipelines may be able to steer high-density development away from pipelines.
Each resident along a pipeline right-of-way who understands how to recognize, react to, and report a pipeline emergency may reduce the impact of the emergency.
Each permit office that prioritizes requests for pipeline repairs helps ensure that pipeline defects can be repaired before they leak.
Each emergency responder who understands the hazards and risks of products transported by pipeline may save lives, including their own.
In 2002, PHMSA and the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) initiated a Partnership for Excellence in Pipeline Safety. PHMSA chose to partner with NASFM to ensure that pipeline safety information for the fire service would be clearly communicated. PHMSA is confident that NASFM's work will be understood and respected by the fire service.
Incident site assessments are often done by the fire service before pipeline company crews arrive. Fire fighters that are knowledgeable about the hazards and risks of pipeline operations are better able to protect themselves and the public.
The ambitious goal of the partnership is to eliminate pipeline incidents. PHMSA and NASFM realize that it will take many years to achieve this goal. In the meantime, emergency responders will continue to serve their communities by responding to pipeline incidents.
Pipeline Emergencies educates responders about product hazards and pipeline system risks - essential knowledge for responding when the "juice gets out of the can". PHMSA continues to work with NASFM to develop communications materials related to various pipeline safety initiatives. The fire service can be key partners in encouraging damage prevention programs and expediting pipeline repair permits.
PHMSA recently implemented new public awareness program regulations, which include a requirement for pipeline operators to provide pipeline awareness information to emergency responders. As part of the partnership, NASFM is facilitating the sharing of information between pipeline operators and emergency responders.
In a few minutes, Elizabeth Tucker will provide more details about how NASFM has structured and implemented the Pipeline Emergencies training package. First, I would like to acknowledge the support needed to create the training package. PHMSA and NASFM relied on experts from the emergency response community, the pipeline industry, Federal, State, and Local government, elected officials, and trade associations to ensure the quality and accuracy of the materials.
In 2005, the video portion of the training curriculum earned two "Golden Firefighter Awards" during an international competition in Bajdos, Spain. PHMSA continues to receive positive feedback about Pipeline Emergencies from both the pipeline industry and the emergency response community.
Now I will turn the screen over to NASFM's Elizabeth Tucker.
Elizabeth Tucker: Thank you Blaine. Pipelines are important to both our national economy and security. Approximately 327,000 miles of natural gas transmission pipelines, 1.8 million miles of natural gas distribution pipelines, and 161,000 miles of liquid pipelines safely transport natural gas and a range of liquid petroleum products daily within the U.S.
Despite the high costs of initially constructing pipelines, they are a safe and relatively economical means of transportation. But like any industry that deals with hazardous materials, there are still risks in the transportation process. Although infrequent, when a pipeline accident does occur, the emergency response community must respond in a timely and effective manner to protect people and the environment.
The Pipeline Emergencies training program helps emergency responders understand pipeline operations, common products transmitted and distributed through pipelines, and tactical response guidelines to deal with accidents. The highlight of the package is a 179-page full-color textbook developed by Greg Noll and Mike Hildebrand for the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) and Department of Transportation (DOT), in cooperation with the pipeline industry and emergency response agencies.
A Curriculum Instructor's Guide and companion PowerPoint presentation, which was developed by Mike Callan, support the textbook. The PowerPoint presentation includes 10 interactive pipeline emergency scenarios that permit the instructor to explore fire and non-fire situations involving liquid and gas pipelines with the students. The package also includes a CD-ROM and training video developed by Emergency Film Group, and a dedicated web site (http://www.pipelineemergencies.com) for additional information on training materials, instructor tips, and links to other web sites.
All of these training materials are being distributed at no cost by NASFM to fire training agencies across America. NASFM's preferred form of delivering the training package is through Train-the-Trainer sessions. The Train-The-Trainer course for the package is designed for experienced emergency response training instructors to prepare them to deliver the curriculum to other emergency responders. The one-day course focuses on familiarizing instructors with the package and the options available for delivering the course to various audiences and skill levels.
The course will provide instructors with an overview of the basic principles of both liquid and gas pipeline system operations, including common products transported and their associated physical and chemical properties. Tactical procedures for handling 10 different pipeline incidents will also be reviewed, including guidelines for common pipeline response scenarios. All instructors attending the course will receive a copy of the complete package.
Training has already occurred in Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. Train-the-Trainer sessions in 2006 are currently being scheduled in California, Connecticut, Michigan, Montana, Ohio and Virginia.
The package is just the first step in a program to mobilize the fire service to encourage higher levels of pipeline safety. We are currently developing materials to enable fire departments to involve their communities because pipeline safety is a responsibility shared by the energy industry, elected and appointed government officials, emergency responders, building contractors, local businesses and residents.
If you are interested in receiving more information on the training package and/or sponsoring a Train-the-Trainer sessions in states that have not been mentioned, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now we will have a few words from Roy Marshall about the response from the fire service.
Roy Marshall: As we worked with this program in the pilot states we found a receptive fire service that expressed a need for what NASFM was delivering. The pipeline safety project encompasses both the training, which has been discussed, and an HCA, or High Consequence Area, phase.
HCA's were defined in the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act as those areas where a pipeline accident would result in the highest consequences in terms of injury and loss of life. Pipeline operators are required to identify these sites and implement an enhanced safety and maintenance program for them.
Most sites are obvious and known by pipeline operators. But others, such as camping areas and outdoor meeting places, are not, and as communities expand and new facilities, recreational and otherwise, are built pipeline operators may not be immediately aware of them. Pipeline companies are therefore required to contact those charged with emergency response on the local level (most often fire officials) and solicit their assistance in determining HCA's.
In Kentucky, the first state to which NASFM took the program, the fire departments and pipeline operators worked together to deliver the emergency response training program and facilitate the identification of HCA's. We repeatedly heard fire officials say they were learning, in some cases for the first time, not only of pipelines in their jurisdiction, but who the operators and contact people were as well. Pipeline operators learned just what fire district they were in, met fire chiefs they hadn't met before, and together trained and made plans that both agree will lessen the likelihood of an accident, and mitigate the outcome if one does occur.
NASFM prepared a FAQ for the fire service in dealing with HCA's and it, as well as the comprehensive training program developed by Hildebrand and Knowles, are available through the web site previously given.
We will be happy to respond to your questions or hear your comments, so I will now turn the floor back over to our Moderator.
Amy Sebring: Thank you very much to all of you. Now, to proceed to your questions.
[Audience Questions & Answers]
Avagene Moore: Roy or Elizabeth, does the program include onsite visits to the pipeline pumping stations? How much are the fire department personnel taught about pipeline operations?
Elizabeth Tucker: In the pilot program in Kentucky site visits were made to pumping stations. Chapter 3 of the Pipeline Emergency textbook covers pipeline operations, Chapter 4 covers liquid product operations, and Chapter 5 covers gas pipeline operations.
Roy Marshall: Yes, they did include onsite visits. The extent to which fire department personnel learn about pipelines is dependent largely on the amount of time and effort they are willing to expend. We found pipeline operators and safety personnel very willing to share information. The Kentucky experience was most positive and I can give anyone interested contact information there if they wish to talk to FD personnel involved.
Shawn Smith: My question is for Elizabeth: To what extent is the DOT's Office of Pipeline Safety funding, or at least supporting, your training program? Didn't the Pipeline Infrastructure Protection and Safety Act of 2002 mandate pipeline operators to perform both public education initiatives and also to collaborate with local responders in a coordinated incident response?
Elizabeth Tucker: DOT's Office of Pipeline Safety has provided funding for the development and distribution of the training program. Blaine can speak more to DOT regulations.
Blaine Keener: The Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002 requires pipeline operators to provide education to various stakeholders, including emergency responders. In 2005, PHMSA (OPS) issued a regulation on Public Awareness programs, which implements the Congressional intent in our regulations.
Vince Caponi: We are in the process of building a new fuel settling/processing facility with pipeline upgrades for jet fuel delivery at Dulles Airport. Is there any information available concerning things to think about during new construction, from a design standpoint with an emphasis on safety?
Elizabeth Tucker: Our program focuses on informing and engaging the fire service. Naturally, you should have the emergency response community in the area involved during the pre-construction, construction, and post-construction phases of the project.
Amy Sebring: Elizabeth, does the course material also cover incident management issues such as incident command?
Elizabeth Tucker: Absolutely.
Lloyd Bokman: Does your training program include any orientation on the use of computer chemical release models, such as ALOHA?
Blaine Keener: The hazards of products and risks from various pipeline operations are included, but nothing as specific as a spill model.
Avagene Moore: As in all planning and training efforts, how much emphasis is placed on pipeline personnel and local responders in a given area knowing each other and being familiar with respective capabilities?
Roy Marshall: A great deal of emphasis. I think the earlier question on incident command was particularly relevant to this inquiry, as often pipeline operators are unaware of the incident command system and need to learn, and fire personnel need to understand where pipeline representatives fit into the command system
Elizabeth Tucker: I would agree that the Incident Command System is crucial and a large focus is placed on that in the textbook and training scenarios.
Jeff Farrells: For all speakers: What do you think pipeline operators should be doing, or planning to do in the future, to support the training programs?
Blaine Keener: Public Awareness Program regulations require pipeline operators to communicate with emergency responders on a periodic basis. Reminders about the availability of Pipeline Emergencies would be a good addition to the communications.
Elizabeth Tucker: One step would be to consider sponsoring a joint training session between your company and emergency responders in a particular area where you may have a large number of HCAs or have a history of incidents in the past. While we are funded through DOT our resources are limited and we cannot reach every region.
Roy Marshall: I agree with both Elizabeth and Blaine, and would add Kentucky is a positive example of what operators can do. There, Kentucky Oil & Gas Association (KOGA) took an active role in seeing the training delivered in a partnership with the State Fire Marshal.
Gilbert Gibbs: Whom, or what agencies, are responsible for the markers that indicate where the pipelines are located?
Blaine Keener: The operator of a pipeline is required to place aboveground markers at certain places, such as road crossings.
Shawn Smith: To go back for a second to the comment on ICS, to what extent is the training going beyond ICS to also address NIMS? In addition, with all the focus lately on Critical Infrastructure Protection I am wondering where you guys see the training program fitting within the new National Infrastructure Protection Plan with respect to community-wide training efforts and simulation/drill exercises.
Blaine Keener: The curriculum does not go beyond ICS. PHMSA (OPS) has a very peripheral role in security.
Amy Sebring: Blaine, is your program also working directly with NFPA, such as on NFPA 472?
Blaine Keener: NFPA is a standards development organization - and a mighty fine one too. The curriculum's focus is on educating emergency responders about responding to pipeline emergencies.
Elizabeth Tucker: NFPA 30, 54, 58 and 59A are referenced in the training program. We are currently not working directly with NFPA on this project, though NASFM does work with NFPA on other projects related to code development and amendment.
Amy Sebring: Blaine, are the operators required to report their periodic contacts with local response agencies?
Blaine Keener: No, but they must keep records that are subject to inspection by PHMSA and our State pipeline safety partners.
Amy Sebring: Elizabeth, are the scenarios suitable for adaptation for local exercise scenarios?
Elizabeth Tucker: Yes and we encourage trainers to adapt them to suit the needs of the department or location.
Avagene Moore: I am a little perplexed as to why emergency managers are not included in training. Is the public awareness effort addressed to any specific disciplines along the pipeline routes?
Blaine Keener: It appears that you are mixing two separate initiatives. Pipeline Emergencies training is geared toward fire, police, and EMS. The public awareness regulations (API RP 1162) do require pipeline operators to communicate with emergency management agencies.
Amy Sebring: Let's wrap it up for today. Thank you very much Blaine, Elizabeth and Roy for an excellent job. We appreciate your time and effort to share this information with us.
The formatted transcript will be available later today. If you are not on our mailing list and would like to get notices of future sessions and availability of transcripts, just go to our home page and click on Subscribe.
Thanks to everyone for participating today. We stand adjourned but before you go, please help me show our appreciation to our guests for a fine job.