FOSA Praises PHMSA Safety Research and Development Announcement – FOSA
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FOSA Praises PHMSA Safety Research and Development Announcement

FOSA Praises PHMSA Safety Research and Development Announcement

WASHINGTON DC – February 19, 2020 – The Fiber Optic Sensing Association (FOSA), the nation’s premier trade association dedicated to fiber optic sensing, today praised the PHMSA announcement, at its Pipeline Safety Research and Development Forum in Arlington, Va., that it is working toward the creation of an agency sponsored Pipeline Safety Facility, possibly collocated at the DOT’s Transportation Technology Center (TTCI) in Colorado.

“FOSA applauds PHMSA Administrator Skip Elliott’s leadership toward creating a Pipeline Safety Facility,” said FOSA Chairman Mike Hines. “The test facility announcement represents another giant step towards the realization of such a capability, which we believe will dramatically improve pipeline safety in the United States.”

Following its discussions with numerous pipeline operators, FOSA had previously called for government and the pipeline industry to work together to establish a pipeline safety test facility.  Based on operator input, FOSA issued a concept paper suggesting a buried “flow-loop” pipeline to emulate leaking pipes under real-world environmental conditions.

FOSA’s paper also envisaged use of the facility to test “smart pigs” and other internal pipeline devices, as well as techniques for safely retrofitting new technologies on existing pipelines.  Since then, language authorizing a Pipeline Safety Facility has been included in the U.S. Senate’s bi-partisan agency reauthorization bill, S. 2299. (Sections 105 & 106).

“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. We believe a comprehensive pipeline test facility operating under real-world conditions would benefit both the public and the pipeline industry,” said FOSA Executive Director Mark Uncapher.

FOSA is a non-profit organization created in Washington DC in 2017 with the mission of educating industry, government and the public on the benefits of fiber optic sensing. Through webinars, videos, white papers, public presentations and public policy advocacy, the organization provides information on the use of fiber optic sensing to secure critical facilities, enhance public safety and protect the environment.

FOSA Members include AP Sensing, Aselsan, Asymmetric Technologies, Corning, Ditch Witch, Dura-Line, Fotech Solutions, Frauscher Sensonic GmbH, Graz University of Technology, Hifi Engineering, NEC, Network Integrity Systems, NKT Photonics, OFS, Omnisens, OptaSense, OZ Optics, Prysmian Group, Schlumberger, Skyview Construction, Smartpipe Technologies, The Weir- Jones Group, and the University of California – Berkeley.