The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) just got to check off three more items on its  2019-2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvementsbringing to 11 the number of safety recommendations acceptably closed since the kickoff of the campaign Feb. 4, 2019.  

The latest three, intended to improve pipeline safety, call for improved inspection programs, better records and documentation of natural gas systems, and procedures to mitigate risks identified during management of change operations. The NTSB says P-18-001P-18-007 and P-18-009, are now considered closed, having had acceptable action taken on them. Safety Recommendation P-18-001 was issued to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and safety recommendations P-18-007 and P-18-009 were issued to NiSource.

Stemming from accidents

“NTSB safety recommendations, if implemented, can help prevent accidents from happening, which saves lives,” said NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt. “These pipeline safety recommendations were issued in the wake of the Millersville, Pennsylvania and Merrimack Valley, Massachusetts natural gas accidents that damaged or destroyed homes, injured dozens and tragically killed two people. The implementation of these recommendations is a significant step in improving natural gas pipeline safety for these communities and across the nation,” said Sumwalt.

Railroad safety was also recently advanced when the Long Island Rail Road and the Metro-North Rail Road implemented NTSB safety recommendations R-17-009 and R-17-010, which were issued following the NTSBs investigation of the Feb. 3, 2015, grade crossing accident in Valhalla, New York, in which six people died and 10 were injured. The recommendations sought the risk assessment and subsequent risk mitigation for grade crossings with third-rail systems at or near the crossings. Because safety recommendation R-17-10 was issued to multiple recipients, the recommendation remains listed as open in the NTSB’s safety recommendation database. Neither recommendation appeared in the 2019 – 2020 Most Wanted List.