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PHMSA Awards 2009 State Damage Prevention Grants

April 24, 2009
On April 16, 2009 the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced the recipients of its 2009 State Damage Prevention Grant Awards. The purpose of these grants is to establish comprehensive State programs designed to prevent damage to underground pipelines in States that do not have such programs and to improve damage prevention programs in States. AGC of America participated in the grant review process with the National Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives (NAPSR), the National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA), representatives of State One Call centers, the American Gas Association (AGA), the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA), the Association of Oil Pipe Lines (AOPL) and PHMSA. The review team evaluated applications based on the five (5) criteria listed below. The criteria were weighted in the following order: criterion 1 was most heavily weighted, criterion 2 was second most heavily weighted, criteria 3 and 4 were weighted equally and were third most heavily weighted, and criterion 5 was fourth most heavily weighted. (1) Quality of the Damage Prevention Program. The team evaluated the quality of State damage prevention programs against the 9 elements as listed above and in Section 2 of the PIPES Act of 2006. (2) Jurisdiction of Civil Penalty. The team evaluated whether State damage prevention programs have the authority under State law to assess civil penalties for violations of the State’s One Call laws and a demonstrated ability to exercise such authority; or alternatively, a commitment to seek action from the State legislature to obtain civil enforcement authority. (3) Outreach and Participation. The team evaluated whether State damage prevention programs demonstrate a commitment to being inclusive of all stakeholders. (4) Education. The team evaluated whether State damage prevention programs have programs to educate the public and other parties who can benefit from, or who are essential to, the success of the Statewide damage prevention program, including use of the 811 system. (5) Program Performance. The team evaluated whether State damage prevention programs have a means to measure the effectiveness of their programs and disseminate this information to the appropriate stakeholders. Recipients of the 2009 grants include the Arizona Corporation Commission, Utility Notification Center of Colorado, Georgia Public Service Commission, Indiana 811, Kansas Corporation Commission, Minnesota Department of Public Safety, New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission, New Mexico Pipeline Safety Bureau, Dig Safely New York, Inc., Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, Tennessee Regulatory Authority, Railroad Commission of Texas. For more information on PHMSA and what the 2009 recipients plan to do with their grant awards please click here. For additional information contact Perry L. Fowler at fowlerp@agc.org
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