The Council for Dredging & Marine Construction Safety (CDMSC) and Coastal and Marine Opera- tors (CAMO) pipeline groups are the leaders for raising safety standards and promoting a safety- first culture supporting American maritime infra- structure and the wellbeing of maritime workers coast-to-coast. A subset of CDMCS is the Pipeline Task Force (PTF), a joint inter-agency, public-private initiative focused on ensuring safe operations in waterways with submerged oil and natural gas pipelines through enhanced communications, collaboration, and exchange of best practices among all stakeholders. Preventing loss of life, injury and environmental pollution, and destruction of assets is their mandate and focus.
Coordinated with Devon Carlock, President, Council for Dredging & Marine Construction Safety and Ed Landgraf, Chairman of CAMO, the June PTF meeting took place on the 23rd Anniversary of the pipeline rupture in Bellingham, Washington. With an at- capacity room, those in attendance took a moment to honor the young men killed in the rupture, Liam Wood, 18, Wade King and Stephen Tsiorvas, both age 10; a somber moment that reinforced the reason we were there.
The PTF working group consisted of over 50 diverse participants representing the dredge, marine construction, 811, pipeline, PHMSA, NTSB, Corps of Engineers, and US Coast Guard sectors.
The agenda for the June meeting focused on the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) findings from the August 21, 2020, Corpus Christi incident that killed five crewmen after a cutter suction dredge struck a propane pipeline in the Inner Harbor. The gas ignited, causing an explosion aboard the dredge. NTSB investigators recently released their findings outlining events leading up to the Port of Corpus Christi dredge explosion. The NTSB report finds the incident was caused by a series of events that began when the dredge vessel hit an underwater propane pipe- line and resulted in the deaths of five of its crew and others injured after the dredge originally caught fire. The report continues to give an ac- count of the fire reigniting later that night, precipitating the dredge sinking overnight. Pieces of the pipeline and the barge have been transported to NTSB labs for further examination.
The team evaluated the NTSB findings, recommendations, current dredge and pipeline company positions and captured feedback from the PTF stakeholders resulting in over 40 proactive suggestions. A consensus was reached to expand on key topics to enhance safety and reduce risks.
· Enhanced Training and Education
· Modify Marine Tolerance Zone
· Mapping, Survey and Marking
· One Call, Damage Prevention for underwater excavation, communications and planning
· Communications, project design and planning
The goal of the PTF is to expand each of the topics and spur action through enhanced best practices, education, and training with the hope of being recognized as consistent national practices across the Dredge, Marine Construction, Pipeline, Regulatory, 811, and Agency stakeholder groups.
To learn more about the Pipeline Task Force and Pipeline Safety, visit: https://cdmcs.org/pipeline-task-force or www.camogroup.org.