The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) Pipeline Safety Research and Development (R&D) Program is designed to provide safety improvements, reduce environmental impacts, and enhance the reliability of the Nation’s pipeline transportation system. During fiscal years 2012–2016, the Agency awarded almost $40 million in support of 85 pipeline safety R&D projects conducted by Federal and non-Federal entities. Those projects cover a number of pipeline safety topics, including pipe coatings, leak detection, damage prevention radar, and anomaly detection and characterization.
In June 2016, Congress passed the Protecting Our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016, which mandates that we evaluate PHMSA’s Pipeline Safety R&D program. Specifically, we will assess PHMSA’s processes for (1) coordinating with stakeholders, (2) mitigating selection panel members’ conflicts of interest, (3) identifying and using outcomes of research conducted by others, and (4) measuring the benefits of R&D outcomes.