About the Voluntary Information-Sharing System Working Group
PHMSA's Voluntary Information-sharing System (VIS) Working Group is mandated by law, section 10 of the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety (PIPES) Act of 2016 (Public Law 114-183), the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) of 1972 (5 U.S.C., App. 2, as amended), and 41 CFR 102-3.50(a). The Secretary of Transportation must convene a working group by December 19, 2016 to consider the development of a voluntary information-sharing system to encourage collaborative efforts to improve inspection information feedback and information sharing with the purpose of improving gas transmission and hazardous liquid pipeline facility integrity risk analysis. PHMSA intends to comply with section 10 of the PIPES Act of 2016 by convening a working group by December 19, 2016.
Notification and Frequency of Meetings
Public announcements of the Voluntary Information-Sharing System (VIS) Working Group meetings will appear in the at least 15 days prior to the meeting date. PHMSA will post relevant information about the meeting on this website. Additionally, the VIS Working Group's recommendations will be published on this website. The VIS Working Group will meet approximately four times per year.
NEXT Meeting: The next meeting will appear at the top of the listing below and link to specifics.
The VIS Working Group will consist of no more than 30 members appointed by the Secretary, including representatives from PHMSA;
Industry stakeholders, including:
- Operators of pipeline facilities,
- Inspection technology, coating, and cathodic protection vendors, and
- Pipeline inspection organizations;
- Safety advocacy groups;
- Research institutions;
- State public utility commissions or State officials responsible for pipeline safety oversight;
- State pipeline safety inspectors;
- Labor representatives; and
- Other entities, as determined appropriate by the Secretary.
Each member serves a three-year term unless the member becomes unable to serve, resigns, ceases to be qualified to serve, is removed by the Secretary, or if the VIS Working Group fulfills its purpose before the term ends. The Secretary may reappoint a member to serve additional terms.
All Group members must be able to attend approximately four meetings each year in Washington, DC, other designated locations, or by teleconference.
Members serve without compensation although travel expenses, including per diem, may be reimbursed for those performing committee duties away from their homes and regular places of business.
A member appointed for his or her individual views or advice must be appointed as a Special Government Employee (SGE). Other members will serve as Representatives or Regular Government Employees. SGEs are subject to certain Federal conflict of interest laws.
The members of the VIS Working Group are:
|Alan Mayberry||Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety||Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration|
State Public Utility Commissioners/State Officials
|Diane Burman||Commissioner||New York State Public Service Commission|
State Pipeline Safety Inspectors
|Joe Subsits||Chief Pipeline Safety Engineer||Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission|
|Michelle Thebert||Director, Facilities Protection Unit||Georgia Public Service Commission|
Safety Advocacy Groups
|Kate Blystone||Outreach Manager||Pipeline Safety Trust|
|Dr. Simona Perry||Research Director and Founder||Pipeline Safety Coalition|
|John MacNeill||National Safety Director||Utility Workers Union of America|
|Eric Sherman||Legislative Assistant||Native American Contractors Association|
|Walter Jones||Associate Director of Occupational Safety & Health||Laborers’ Health & Safety Fund of North America|
|Leif Jensen||Senior Director of Asset Integrity||Sunoco Logistics|
|Dan Cote||Vice President of Pipeline Safety & Compliance||NiSource Gas|
|Eric Amundsen||Vice President||Panhandle Energy/Energy Transfer Partners|
|Bryce Brown||Vice President, Group Strategy Management||The ROSEN Group|
|Jason Cradit||Senior Director of Technology||TRC Oil and Gas|
|Alicia Farag||President & CEO||LocusView Solutions|
|Mark Zuniga||Vice President of Information Technology||UniversalPegasus International, Inc.|
|Robert Buchanan||General Manager||Seal for Life Industries|
|Christopher Warner||Senior Vice President||Mears Group, Inc.|
|Mike LaMont||Vice President||Integrity Plus|
|Mark Hereth||Principal||Process Performance Improvement Consultants|
|Michael Bellamy||General Manager||PII Pipeline Solutions (GE)|
|Randy Parker||Vice President of Regulatory Affairs||Kinder Morgan|
|Dr. Yiming Deng||Associate Professor||Michigan State University|
|Michael Keller||Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering|
University of Tulsa
Other Entities Representatives
|Holly Pearen||Senior Attorney||Environmental Defense Fund|
The VIS Working Group will consider and provide recommendations to the Secretary as specifically outlined in section 10 of the PIPES Act of 2016.
(a) The need for, and the identification of, a system to ensure that dig verification data are shared with in-line inspection operators to the extent consistent with the need to maintain proprietary and security-sensitive data in a confidential manner to improve pipeline safety and inspection technology;
(b) Ways to encourage the exchange of pipeline inspection information and the development of advanced pipeline inspection technologies and enhanced risk analysis;
(c) Opportunities to share data, including dig verification data between operators of pipeline facilities and in-line inspector vendors to expand knowledge of the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of in-line inspection technology and methodologies;
(d) Options to create a secure system that protects proprietary data while encouraging the exchange of pipeline inspection information and the development of advanced pipeline inspection technologies and enhanced risk analysis;
(e) Means and best practices for the protection of safety- and security-sensitive information and proprietary information; and
(f) Regulatory, funding, and legal barriers to sharing the information described in paragraphs (a) through (d).
The Secretary must publish the VIS Working Group's recommendations on a publicly available Department of Transportation Web site. The VIS Working Group will fulfill its purpose once its recommendations are published online.
Charter and Composition
To conduct business, the VIS working group must have an approved Charter. The Charters require renewal every two years by the General Services Administration (GSA), Committee Management Secretariat; bylaws provide additional procedural guidance.
Historic Committee Meeting Transcripts
In the future, supplemental information, including transcripts of past advisory committee meetings can be found at www.Regulations.gov under the following docket numbers: