ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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New Legislation Requires Pipeline Integrity Management Standards

ANSI-Accredited Standards Developers to Respond

New York, Dec 26, 2002

When President Bush signed HR 3609 on December 17, 2002, wheels were put in motion to move forward with efforts to advance oil and natural gas pipeline safety and promote Transportation Department adoption of voluntary consensus standards for pipeline integrity management.

The bill, which authorizes research, development and standardization activities related to several pipeline safety, security, maintenance and failure analysis issues, specifically cites "the applicable level of protection established by national consensus standards organizations."

The American Petroleum Institute (API) an ANSI member and accredited standards developer, along with ANSI members the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and NACE International, is currently developing standards in the area of pipeline integrity and in-line inspection systems requirements. The organizations expect to work with the Department of Transportation, Department of Energy and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to have these standards considered for adoption. A key to the full development of the cooperative technical program will be the appropriation by Congress of funds from the general revenue rather than through direct user fee assessments on the pipeline industry.

David Miller, API's director of standards programs said that the legislation "recognizes the efforts of the industry to improve safety and reliability of pipelines through voluntary consensus standards, and encourages new efforts to upgrade the security of energy pipelines."

"Voluntary standards help the government fulfill its mandate to ensure public safety and health and provide sound technical solutions to safety and health problems without creating additional cost and operations burdens," explained David Karmol, ANSI vice-president of public policy and government affairs. "This legislation highlights the importance of the use of voluntary standards and the growing awareness in the Congress of the role of standards in regulations dealing with health and safety."

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