FOSA calls for US pipeline safety test facility

The Fiber Optic Sensing Association (FOSA) has called for a government-supported pipeline safety test facility in the US.

According to FOSA, the US Government needs to work with the pipeline industry to develop a= government-supported research facility to systematically improve pipeline safety, technologies and techniques, as well as explore the option of retrofitting existing pipelines with new safety technologies.

“The Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Railroad Administration, Federal Highway Administration, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and others have facilities for validation of new technologies and techniques, but no such facility exists for pipelines,” said FOSA Chair Mike Hines.

“A comprehensive pipeline test facility operating under real-world conditions would benefit the industry, government regulators and the public.”

FOSA Director Mark Uncapher said while operators are constantly working with new technologies, the facility would remove limitations and bring advanced technologies into service more quickly.

“Increasingly, pipeline regulators are expected to explore technology solutions,” said Mr Uncapher.

“With a facility of this nature, they would have a place to do that, and sooner, helping the public benefit from such technologies more quickly.”

FOSA’s concept diagram for the facility includes capabilities for testing internal and external safety technology, the incorporation of noisy environments such as highways, and the use of different soil types at different locations along the test pipeline.

FOSA believes the next step in the process involves the government and industry work together on an engineering study of the proposed facility.

Mr Hines said the facility would help reduce pipeline incidents.

“That’s the goal of both pipeline operators and technology companies,” he said.

“We look forward to working with interested parties to make this a reality.”

For more information visit the FOSA website.

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