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Ref: Collaborative federal grant program aims to enhance pipeline security

Dec. 11, 2006
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Rahall Establishes Program To Improve Pipeline Safety and Security

By HNN Staff, From Nick J. Rahall press release

Washington, DC (HNN) - U.S. Rep. Nick J. Rahall, D-WV, was successful last week in adding a pipeline safety and technical assistance program to the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2006, the goal of which will be to increase the safety and security at and along our Nation's pipelines.

"This is an important homeland security initiative as much as it is a safety initiative," Rahall said. "Preventing leaking and damaged pipelines from polluting our communities and natural environment has been a long-standing public policy priority. The tragic events of the September 11 terrorist attacks focused attention on the security of our Nation's energy sources and the critical energy and transportation infrastructure systems. This nexus of safety and security challenges require a technical assistance program to provide workforce training in areas of critical importance to pipeline systems."

The grant program will allow Universities to team together to seek a grant to establish workforce training and assistance programs on pipeline safety and security. Specifically, the program will allow universities to provide courses in the safety and security of pipeline systems, incident and risk management and vulnerability assessments of pipeline systems. The universities would be required to submit a report to DOT and Congress on the results of their collaborative program.

"I am hopeful that West Virginia will be able to utilize its significant resources - universities, research professionals, expertise - to bear in this important initiative," Rahall said.

Dr. John Weete, Vice President for Research and Economic Development at West Virginia University, commended Rahall for his effort in securing the program and reiterated the importance of the project.

"I want to thank Congressman Rahall for his work on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to authorize the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act," Weete said. "This Act will provide work-force training and technology transfer to improve safety and security of the national pipeline network. This is an important step in securing the national pipeline network, and we are hopeful that West Virginia University can play a role in improving the future of pipeline safety."

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