The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has built and deployed a consensus-based, collaborative and co-funded research program that is bringing technology to market and helping to strengthen pipeline integrity worldwide. As the principle arbiter of on-shore pipeline safety issues at the federal level PHMSA has aggressively initiated an extensive range of research, development and demonstration projects to make pipelines safer. Significant progress is being accomplished while working with other international administrations, federal agencies, state and local governments, industry partners and academia focused on enhancing pipeline system integrity. This research enterprise is designed to be consistent, predictable and transparent to all stakeholders. Current PHMSA Pipeline Safety R&D Program managed research, development and demonstration (RD&D) projects are producing desired results focused on technologies, enhancing standards and regulations along with providing general knowledge needed to address critical safety and integrity functions. These investments are addressing better diagnostic tools, testing of unpiggable pipes, stronger materials, improved pipeline locating and subsurface mapping, prevention of outside force damage, and leak detection. PHMSA Pipeline Safety R&D Program utilizes consensus building on the technical gaps and challenges for future RD&D through facilitating government and industry pipeline stakeholder’s road mapping efforts. The recent Government/Industry R&D forum confirms progress is being made toward safety and integrity in some areas. However, new challenges seen from the recent construction boom is raising old questions along with new technology challenges with alternative fuels and climate change. This paper will discuss the impacts realized from the execution of PHMSA’s research program to develop technology, strengthen consensus standards and to generate and promote new knowledge since 2002.

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