Page 28: of Marine News Magazine (October 2018)

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Waterway Pipeline

Task Force Formed

Dredging Contractors of America and the Council for Dredging and

Marine Construction Safety Create Public-Private Task Force to

Ensure Safe Operations in Waterways with Submerged Pipelines.

By Michael Gerhardt

Industry and government have come repositioned if necessary. This misinformation creates enor- together to address the problem of bur- mous safety and operational problems for dredging com- ied pipelines in our waterways. Many oil panies and poses signi? cant danger to crews, vessels, the and natural gas pipelines buried in wa- environment, and local communities. With over 35,000 terways are not where they are supposed miles of pipelines in the Gulf of Mexico alone, the chance to be, are unmarked, are marked incor- of striking an oil or natural gas pipeline is a daily concern.

rectly and/or do not have the appropriate In recent years the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (US- depth of cover, thereby creating serious ACE) has been developing a national underwater utility da- safety and security problems. The conse- tabase called the Pipeline Location and Observation Veri? -

Gerhardt quences are potential loss of life, injury, cation Enterprise Repository (PLOVER), which would be environmental pollution and destruction populated with owner as-built data veri? ed by comprehen- of assets. These unacceptable hazards must stop, and togeth- sive USACE reconnaissance and/or USACE–approved con- er, industry and government are doing something about it. tractor ? ndings and would also hopefully include toe and

As U.S. ports deepen their channels and harbors and centerline data. USACE is encouraging better coordination the dredging workload around the country, especially in between their navigation and regulatory branches on future the Gulf of Mexico, reaches record levels over the next installations and pushing their districts to conduct surveys few years, the U.S. dredging industry and its Council for to identify old or abandoned installations. While these and

Dredging and Marine Construction Safety (CDMCS) are additional efforts are underway to ensure all pipeline and leading an initiative, in partnership with key stakehold- utility crossings are properly identi? ed in the water, in the ers, including state and federal agencies, energy associa- permits, and in the contracts prior to dredging, the indus- tions and pipeline companies, to ensure safe operations in try is taking a “we can’t wait” approach. Industry is engag- waterways with submerged oil and natural gas pipelines ing stakeholders to educate and safeguard workers. through enhanced communication, collaboration, and the active exchange of best practices. CDMCS

On May 16, the CDMCS Pipeline Task Force was creat-

N & B : ed and charged with developing a joint best practices safety


Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 re- manual for operating near submerged pipelines. It will be quires all permits for work in, over, or under navigable wa- chaired by William P. Doyle, CEO and Executive Direc- ters of the United States, including pipeline installations, tor of the Dredging Contractors of America (DCA). I am be issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. However, the Pipeline Task Force Director. U.S. dredging companies,

Section 10 does not require permits to be updated with pipeline companies, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materi- changes in ownership data; shifts in location coordinates; al Safety Administration, the U.S. Army Corps, the U.S. the transfer of contracts, plans, speci? cations or even that Coast Guard, Coastal Area Marine Operators, Gulf Safe the physical markings in the waterways will be checked and 811, the State of Louisiana Pipeline Safety Of? ce, Loui-

October 2018

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