Higher Educational Institutions Receive Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars for Pipeline Safety Research
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Higher Educational Institutions Receive Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars for Pipeline Safety Research

The awards will fund development of research projects to prevent or mitigate corrosion of pipelines

October 6, 2016

The U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) will provide $900,000 to three higher educational institutions to conduct pipeline safety research.

The awards, which are part of the PHMSA's Competitive Academic Agreement Program (CAAP), will go to Iowa State University, West Virginia University, and North Dakota State University to fund the development of research projects designed to prevent or mitigate the corrosion of pipelines.

"PHMSA's CAAP projects are focused on developing new innovation to solve our most pressing safety concerns." said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "The program introduces tomorrow's science and engineering professionals to PHMSA's mission, and encourages students to pursue a career in public service."

CAPP was established in 2013 and has provided more than $3.9 million in awards for research. It has also educated 133 students about pipeline safety through 26 sponsored projects. Projects that are developed using awards from the CAPP are part of introductory research that is then used in investigations either in other CAAP investments or in PHMSA's core research and development program.

"The CAAP program sponsors research projects that can be applied to real-life safety challenges," said PHMSA Administrator Marie Therese Dominguez. "Corrosion is one of the top causes of pipeline failures, and we're committed to investing in innovative technologies that will strengthen our nation's pipeline system well into the future."

Previous projects funded by the CAAP have focused on technological improvements designed for specific pipeline problems, such as measuring the strength and toughness of pipelines, detecting methane emissions, preventing corrosion, and locating plastic pipes. In addition, PHMSA has also invested almost $93 million into general research and development projects now on the market, including 22 applications for patents and 25 new pipeline technologies such as above-ground, radar-based pipeline mapping and a nondestructive testing technique for pipelines that are not piggable.

PMHSA also recently issued an Interim Final Rule to implement its expanded authority for issuing emergency orders and improving pipeline safety.