Pipeline Safety Technical Experts

In 2015, the Trust published a Request for Qualifications in order to try and locate independent pipeline safety technical consultants who may be able to assist local governments, individuals, and citizen groups interested in finding technical experts to help them become more knowledgeable about pipeline safety issues. We were frequently being asked for ideas of where to find such experts who may be able to provide paid technical assistance in a broad variety of areas relating to oil and gas pipelines. The Trust vetted responses and the results of this process are listed here. Inclusion in this directory does not imply endorsement by the Pipeline Safety Trust. We encourage all those looking for technical pipeline safety experts to conduct their own selection process using their own evaluation criteria, terms, and conditions. We have additional information about the consultants listed below, and will make it available upon request. If you are a pipeline safety technical expert, please contact us for information on inclusion in this list.

 

Karin Boyd

Job Title Company Name Company Web Address State # of
Empl
Principal Geomorphologist Applied Geomorphology Inc. www.appliedgeomorph.com MT 0-5
Length in Business Speciality Other Specialty Registration Title
27 years Other River Dynamics Assessments Professional Geologist
Consulting History Potential Conflicts of Interest

In 2012 I was hired to help perform a Yellowstone River Pipeline Risk Assessment following the ExxonMobil Silvertip oil spill in Billings in 2011. My work included assessing the general risk of lateral and vertical channel movement at 21 sites where pipelines crossed or intersected the Channel Migration Zone of the Yellowstone River. Sites were assigned a preliminary relative risk category, and then I worked with engineers to quantify scour potential at several of the high risk sites.

I have not performed any direct work for the energy pipeline industry to date (as of June, 2015). I do not anticipate any contracts with the industry in the future.


William Byrd

Job Title Company Name Company Web Address State # of
Empl
President RCP Inc. www.rcp.com TX 51-100
Length in Business Speciality Other Specialty Registration Title
20 years General Pipeline Professional Engineer / Engineering Co
Consulting History Potential Conflicts of Interest

RCP Inc. specializes in energy pipeline regulatory compliance and risk management issues, primarily for oil and gas pipeline operators, and has been in business since 1995. We also conduct training courses on a regular basis for the industry, agency personnel, and the public on a wide variety of pipeline safety and pipeline regulatory compliance topics. We work in all 50 states, Canada, and overseas. We actively serve more than 100 pipeline clients, from the largest companies in the industry to some of the smallest. Our staff of more than 60 includes several professional engineers and other technical experts in corrosion, metallurgy, etc., with decades of experience who frequently publish in professional journals and make presentations at industry conferences. We hold 3 patents for software used to determine the maximum allowable operating pressure of complex pipeline systems. We publish a monthly e-mail newsletter on pipeline safety topics that is received directly by 7,000 subscribers, and is forwarded to many thousands of additional readers. Our staff members frequently serve as expert witnesses on pipeline safety and regulatory compliance topics.

We work primarily for the energy pipeline industry, and would rarely be able to take an assignment that was in direct opposition to an individual company’s or the general industry’s interests. In most cases, if a pipeline operator could be adversely affected by our work, we would need to check with that operator before taking the assignment because of a potential conflict of interest. However, we can and do work for school boards and property developers that are concerned about pipeline issues, in order to quantify and to mitigate pipeline risks as appropriate.


Cesar de Leon

Job Title Company Name Company Web Address State # of
Empl
President PanAm Pipeline Technology, Inc. www.pipelinesafetyconsultant.com TX 0-5
Length in Business Speciality Other Specialty Registration Title
42 yrs. total General Pipeline Oil and gas pipeline regulations and industry standards Professional engineer
Consulting History Potential Conflicts of Interest

I served 23 in the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and predecessor Office of Pipeline Safety – serving 5 yrs. as director and another 5 yrs. as deputy (includes Director and Deputy Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety), as well as Pipeline Inspector and Southern Region Chief.

After retiring from federal service, I have served almost 20 yrs. as domestic and international gas and oil pipeline safety consultant and expert witness regarding federal, state, and industry standards. I have provided these services for over 125 clients and been an expert witness for plaintiffs and defendants with over 30 depositions/court testimony.

I have represented many pipeline companies and pipeline contractors in litigation. I cannot represent any company or individual that is against any of these pipeline companies or pipeline contractors in litigation.


Royce Don Deaver

Job Title Company Name Company Web Address State # of
Empl
President DEATECH Consulting Company RDDeaver.com TX 0-5
Length in Business Speciality Other Specialty Registration Title
18 years Expert Witness Mechanical Engineer
Consulting History Potential Conflicts of Interest

Reflected in my Curriculum Vitae.

See my Curriculum Vitae for general nature of work for the pipeline industry. I currently have no conflicts of interest with a pipeline industry group or company.


Elise DeCola

Job Title Company Name Company Web Address State # of
Empl
Operations Manager Nuka Research and Planning Group, LLC www.nukaresearch.com MA 11-25
Length in Business Speciality Other Specialty Registration Title
19 years Other Oil Spill Prevention and Response and Risk Assessment
Consulting History Potential Conflicts of Interest

I have worked on oil and gas pipeline safety, spill prevention and response both at the policy and the practical level. My policy expertise is as an analyst and adviser, and I have worked on research reports and literature synthesis on topics such as: jurisdictional approaches to pipeline oversight; analysis of past oil spill trends to inform future spill prevention and risk management programs; and development of oil spill occurrence estimating models based on historical spill rates. In the field, I have also worked to develop geographic response plans for inland and coastal oil spills from all sources, including pipelines. I have worked on training and exercise programs that focus on testing oil spill response strategies and training first responders to perform oil spill containment and recovery operations.

We have done some limited work for major U.S. oil companies to develop oil spill tactics guides and response plans, but have no active conflicts of interest. We have worked extensively for Canadian First Nations and municipalities to provide technical analysis of oil spill risks and response capability associated with proposed energy pipelines.


Margaret Felts

Job Title Company Name Company Web Address State # of
Empl
Consultant and Attorney at Law (WA) M C Felts Co www.margaretfelts.com CA 0-5
Length in Business Speciality Other Specialty Registration Title
32 years Expert Witness Oil & Gas
Consulting History Potential Conflicts of Interest

Ms Felts serves as the lead technical consultant to law firms, regulatory agencies and private entities on environmental, energy and corporate fraud cases, concentrating her practice on behind-the-scene discovery, research and strategy development. She also serves as Expert Witness.

Positions external to consulting include serving as Deputy Director of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), where she managed the State’s Superfund program, including the base closure program for the oversight of toxic cleanup of military bases closed by the federal government. Prior to working for the state, Felts served as Division Chief of Environmental Engineering at for the Department of Defense at McClellan AFB. In this position she was responsible for developing a program to bring the base into compliance with Federal, State and local environmental regulations. Felts came to California from Texas when she was recruited by the California Energy Commission to fill a lead technical position in the Fuels Office.

No current conflicts


Curt Freedman

Job Title Company Name Company Web Address State # of
Empl
President CMF Engineering, Inc. MA 0-5
Length in Business Speciality Other Specialty Registration Title
Mechanical Pipeline set-back distances Registered Professional Engineer
Consulting History Potential Conflicts of Interest

Provided written testimony to the Public Service Board of Vermont concerning a proposed Addison Rutland natural gas pipeline project that would pass through through Adison County including the communities of Monkton, Shoreham, and Cornwall. Contact for more information cmf.freedman [at] gmail.com.

I have no conflicts.


Ian Goodman

Job Title Company Name Company Web Address State # of
Empl
President The Goodman Group, Ltd. (TGG) www.thegoodman.com CA 0-5
Length in Business Speciality Other Specialty Registration Title
26 years Expert Witness
Consulting History Potential Conflicts of Interest

Since 2011, TGG has focused on the economics of oil supply and transportation, notably Canadian tar sands and US shale via pipelines and rail. Ian Goodman and Brigid Rowan of TGG have co-authored expert reports and testimony on North America’s most controversial pipeline projects, including:

  • TransCanada Keystone XL
  • TransCanada Energy East
  • Enbridge Line 9 Reversal and Capacity Expansion
  • Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion.

TGG has co-authored 8 expert reports on the economic development and environmental impacts of crude oil transportation. Our reports have examined the economic costs (with a focus on worst-case spills) and benefits (with a focus on employment and tax revenues) for communities (including states, provinces, and regions).

TGG reports have also analyzed the distribution of costs and benefits between communities/governments and pipeline proponents (energy producers/pipeline companies/refineries). TGG has also produced crude market analyses (examining the economics of crude oil supply and demand in relevant markets) to evaluate the need for various pipelines.

At a national level, TGG evaluated the US employment impacts of the Keystone XL pipeline in Pipe Dreams? Jobs Gained, Jobs Lost by the Construction of Keystone XL, an influential widely publicized study co-authored with Cornell University. TGG evaluated the adequacy of the US State Department’s Market Analysis for Keystone XL. At a state/provincial/regional level, TGG has produced 4 reports on the economic and environmental impacts of pipelines.

TGG’s expert reports on crude oil pipelines include:

  • Changes to the Economic Costs and Benefits of the Keystone XL Pipeline for South Dakota, written expert testimony filed in April and June 2015 at the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission on behalf of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. Based on the conclusions of pipeline safety expert, Richard Kuprewicz (that (a) the proposed routing in South Dakota places the proposed pipeline at undue risk of rupture with massive release of oil; and (b) the worst-case spill scenario of 60,000 barrels (assuming a 15-minute valve shutoff time)), TGG estimates a range of Worst-Case Scenario Costs starting at US$1 billion and escalating to $2 billion or more for a very high consequence event. Given the Keystone XL’s very small employment and property tax benefits, TGG concludes that, under a range of worst-case scenarios, the costs of the Project will greatly exceed the benefits for South Dakota.
  • Economic Costs and Benefits of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMX) for BC and Metro Vancouver in collaboration with Simon Fraser University, Centre for Public Policy Research. The report, first released in November 2014, shows that the economic development benefits of TMX are very small and have been significantly overstated by Kinder Morgan, whereas the worst-case costs of a catastrophic spill are very large and have been vastly understated.
  • Economics of Transporting and Processing Tar Sands Crudes in Quebec in collaboration with Aquiterre and Greenpeace Canada. The January 2014 report demonstrates that the economic development benefits of moving and refining tar sands crudes would be insignificant for Quebec, while the costs and risks are very high.
  • The Relative Economic Costs and Benefits of Enbridge’s Line 9B Reversal and Line 9 Capacity Expansion Project, expert report filed in August 2013 at Canada’s National Energy Board on behalf of a coalition of environmental groups.
  • Report evaluating the adequacy of the Keystone XL (KXL) Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) Market Analysis, filed as an attachment to Comments on KXL DSEIS submitted by Sierra Club, NRDC and 14 other groups in April 2013.
  • Pipe Dreams? Jobs Gained, Jobs Lost by the Construction of Keystone XL, co-authored with Cornell University, September 2011.

See www.thegoodman.com/publications for links to the complete list of TGG’s reports.

TGG has never been retained by the energy pipeline industry and does not anticipate being retained by this industry in the future. TGG has no potential conflicts in working for an entity that is not aligned with the energy pipeline industry’s interests.

As indicated above in response to other questions, in our 26-year history, TGG has worked for a very diverse range of clients including citizen groups and governments at all levels, as well as regulators, environmental and public interest organizations, consumer groups and indigenous groups. We have been retained by energy industry clients in the past, but these are typically renewable energy companies or utilities and distribution companies seeking analysis of employment impacts related to investment in energy efficiency or renewables.

Since 2011, when TGG’s practice began to focus mainly on the economics of oil supply and transportation, TGG has worked exclusively for environmental, indigenous and public interest groups, and collaborated with academic institutions. We have not been retained by energy industry clients since 2008.


Thomas Gunton

Job Title Company Name Company Web Address State # of
Empl
Director and Professor, Resource and Environmental Planning Program, Simon Fraser University BC 0-5
Length in Business Speciality Other Specialty Registration Title
15 years Air/Water Quality
Consulting History Potential Conflicts of Interest

Expert witness on pipeline spill risk and pipeline economics and supervisor of thesis on pipeline risks analysis. Contact gunton [at] sfu.ca

none


Richard Kuprewicz

Job Title Company Name Company Web Address State # of
Empl
President Accufacts Inc NA CA 0-5
Length in Business Speciality Other Specialty Registration Title
16 plus years Expert Witness Proces Safety and Rick Management
Consulting History Potential Conflicts of Interest

Over 40 plus years in management and field application of process safety management, especially as it applies to pipeline risk management. Contact kuprewicz [at] comcast.net

Provide neutral technical expertise to allow parties to:

  1. ask the right questions and
  2. assure that party responses are complete and truthful.

Fairly simple concept but can be challenging / difficult to address in the misinformation age.


Patricia Maurice

Job Title Company Name Company Web Address State # of
Empl
Professor University of Notre Dame IN 0-5
Length in Business Speciality Other Specialty Registration Title
since 1985 General Pipeline I am a geochemist and hydrologist who also lives near line 6B
Consulting History Potential Conflicts of Interest

I have not consulted on oil and gas pipelines. However, I have served in many capacities as reflected on my c.v.

Enbridge condemned about 1/3 acre of our land for the line 6B pipeline. They purchased it for transfer to our neighbor. We no longer have any easements on our property. However, for full disclosure anyone should know that we have dealt with Enbridge. I have served on a number of high level committees for the US Department of Environmental Protection, the National Science Foundation, and the National Academies/ National Research Council. I have published ~100 papers and am sole author of the textbook Environmental Surfaces and Interfaces from the Nano Scale to the Global Scale (Wiley, 2009).


Mark McDonald

Job Title Company Name Company Web Address State # of
Empl
President, NatGas Consulting NatGas Consulting www.411Experts.com MA 6-10
Length in Business Speciality Other Specialty Registration Title
24 Years Expert Witness
Consulting History Potential Conflicts of Interest

I worked for a natural gas Distribution company for over 2 decades, as well as being the president of the New England Gas Workers Association for a decade which involved extensive regulatory work on the state & federal levels, legislative lobbying on the state & federal levels and media work around the nation.

As a natural gas expert I have investigated over 30 natural gas explosions. Performed dozens of depositions and testified at trial multiple times. I have also provided expert opinions to CNN, Wall Street Journal, the History Channel, Popular Mechanics, AP, Reuters etc.

I worked for a major natural gas Distribution company for nearly 25 years as a:

  • Emergency Responder
  • Leak Investigator
  • Leak Grading
  • Main & Service Installation, Repair
  • District Regulator Lead Tech

As well as working for a decade as a pipeline advocate for gas workers on both the regulatory, legislative and public relation sides of this industry.


Odell McWane

Job Title Company Name Company Web Address State # of
Empl
Owner McWane and Associates www.materialsite.com CA 0-5
Length in Business Speciality Other Specialty Registration Title
34 years Other Welding Engineering Metallurgical Engineering
Consulting History Potential Conflicts of Interest

My experience with piping has been in the electric power industry such as Nuclear, Fossil Fuel, Renewable Energy and also pharmacetical chemical processing piping.

Have done no work directly for the energy pipeline industry. Therefore I see no conflics of interests.


James E. Nelson

Job Title Company Name Company Web Address State # of
Empl
Director of Business Development UTSI International Corporation www.utsi.com TX 11-25
Length in Business Speciality Other Specialty Registration Title
30 years Other Pipeline Control, SCADA, Leak Detection
Consulting History Potential Conflicts of Interest

UTSI International Corporation is a systems engineering, integration and consulting firm specializing in automated system design, implementation, and project engineering services primarily to the pipeline industry. Our company headquarters is in Friendswood, TX (Houston area) and we have an office in Madrid, Spain. The company maintains three (3) principal areas of expertise focused on Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, real-time modeling/leak detection technology, and regulatory compliance audits as applied to the oil and gas pipeline industry. Since its inception in March 1985, UTSI has been responsible for the design and implementation of sophisticated telecommunication and control systems for many of the world’s largest energy and transmission logistics corporations.

UTSI has an extensive client list that includes the following utility and pipeline companies: Shell Pipeline, Chevron Pipeline, Alyeska Pipeline, Koch Industries, Enterprise Products, Enbridge Pipelines, Kinder Morgan, Atlanta Gas, Magellan Midstream Partners, Northern Natural Gas, Gas Natural SDG (Spain), Enagas (Spain), Korea Gas Corporation (Korea) and Plains All American. In addition, UTSI International has provided technically focused consulting services to numerous companies that are not pipeline or utility operating companies including: American Petroleum Institute, ABB industrial Systems, Computational Geosciences, New York City Transit Authority, Hyundai Heavy Industries (Korea), Danielson, Harrigan, and Tollefson, LLP, US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), and City of Tallahassee, Florida.

UTSI has developed very strong long-term relationships with many of our customers as a result of our commitment to provide high quality consulting services, support, and personal contact with senior management whenever desired. UTSI’s philosophy to maintain a continuous focus on the needs and strategic goals of its customers makes us a valuable resource, whether it be for providing an independent opinion on some issue, or executing a complete turnkey system implementation project. At UTSI, customer satisfaction is our top priority.

Development of systems and software in high technology areas requires that one fully understand the risks and the benefits of choosing a given technique over another to satisfy a particular set of requirements, and we understand there are many ways to solve most industrial automation problems. UTSI approaches this task by working closely with our customers to identify their specific needs and objectives so that a clear path to the best solution can be determined.

UTSI’s engineering staff knows that even though many projects share similarities with others, each project is unique and warrants careful analysis. Therefore, our engineers work closely with the customer to identify his unique business needs during the initial stages of a project. We then work to define solutions, which satisfy those needs by taking advantage of existing technology while also minimizing risk.

UTSI is dedicated to providing the highest quality consulting, integration and support services available from any source. Our commitment to our customers is to provide this service in a professional and cost effective manner, and to establish the long-term relationships that allow their continuing needs to be met.

For 30 years UTSI has worked almost exclusively within the pipeline industry. While some level of consulting was provided to entities that were not operating pipeline organizations, by far the preponderance of our pipeline consulting experience during this period was contracted by, and conducted directly for, pipeline operating companies. Although this point is indisputable, it must be stated that UTSI considers itself an independent provider of technical expertise in the areas set forth in the paragraphs above. A fundamental axiom of our company philosophy is that all of this technical expertise and advice is directed to the improvement of processes, safety and/or reliability associated with operational pipelines.

We believe that our expert advice is based on sound scientific and engineering principles, which can stand on its own merit. There have been incidents where our opinion and advice were not necessarily in the self-perceived best interests of the company we are advising, but we have always taken the position that such opinions and advice have merit and are beyond any personal or company political agendas. Frankly, if it can be assumed that any group’s agenda is towards truly increasing the safe operation of pipelines, as set forth in the Pipeline Safety Trust’s mission statement, it is difficult to conceive that the entity’s agenda is not aligned with that of the pipeline industry in the long run. Pipeline safety, is pipeline safety, regardless of from which direction it is approached.

The primary conflict of interest that we feel could exist involves some specific past confidential work that UTSI may have performed with some of these operating pipeline companies. In most of such cases, we have signed non-disclosure agreements with these companies and feel that we must honor these agreements from both a moral as well as a legal perspective.

If asked to provide our consulting services to an entity that is not aligned with the energy pipeline industry’s interests, we would first check to ensure that we could maintain full compliance with any such non-disclosure agreements prior to acceptance of any consulting engagement. Other than that point, UTSI maintains complete autonomy in its technical expert opinions and advice.


Philip Oakes

Job Title Company Name Company Web Address State # of
Empl
National Program Director/Trainer National Association of State Fire Marshals www.firemarshals.org WY 0-5
Length in Business Speciality Other Specialty Registration Title
9 years General Pipeline Multiple including education
Consulting History Potential Conflicts of Interest

As the National Program Director and Trainer for the National Association of State Fire Marshals I interact with pipeline companies and the public daily regarding pipeline issues. Additionally, we work to stay ahead of the game with emerging technologies regarding pipelines and helping emergency responders work through those issues. We worked through the development of multiple training programs, websites, and resources and routinely present at pipeline conference.

Our goal is public safety. Provided that is the goal of the organization other concerns can be worked through.

We have worked with pipeline companies to ready responders and response organizations in the event of a release. NASFM stays neutral throughout the process and provides information and support. The goal is responder and public safety. We have not hesitated, nor shall we of informing any part (operator or responder) of potentially unsafe practices, with the goal being to take corrective action and with the end result being better public safety.


Lauren Ross

Job Title Company Name Company Web Address State # of
Empl
Environmental Engineer Glenrose Engineering, Inc. www.glenrose.com TX 0-5
Length in Business Speciality Other Specialty Registration Title
since 1987 Air/Water Quality Professional Engineer
Consulting History Potential Conflicts of Interest
  • Consultant to governmental agencies, environmental communities, and legal teams.
  • Pipeline failure risk assessment.
  • Worse case spill analysis
  • Fate and transport environmental modeling of spilled materials.
  • Calculation of spilled material travel times.
  • Fate and transport modeling through sensitive karst environments.
  • Statistical analysis of spill and failure probabilities.
  • Environmental Commissioning.
  • Design and analysis to preserve water quality and hydrogeologic conductivity and connectivity.

I have no work experience directly for the energy pipeline industry and no conflicts in working for an entity that is not aligned with the energy pipeline industry’s interests.


Glen Stevick, Ph.D., P.E.

Job Title Company Name Company Web Address State # of
Empl
Principal  BEAR, Inc.  bearinc.com CA 11-25
Length in Business Speciality Other Specialty Registration Title
35 years General Pipeline Registered Professional Mechanical Engineer
Consulting History Potential Conflicts of Interest

Performed the last fracture mechanics analysis of the Alaska pipeline.

Performed design and risk assessments for Chevron’s pipelines as an employee (Engineering Mechanics Specialist)

Assisted PG&E with the Covalo CA gas pipeline explosion and gas pipeline toughness requirements for the earthquake fault crossings

Assisted the Governor’s office in responding to the San Bruno pipeline explosion incident.

Assisted the City of San Carlos and the CPUC with hydrotest, inspection and pressure ratings for gas pipelines.

See my consulting history and contact me for any current potential conflicts.


Paul Tullis

Job Title Company Name Company Web Address State # of
Empl
President Tullis Engineering Consultants www.tullisengineering.com UT 0-5
Length in Business Speciality Other Specialty Registration Title
40 years General Pipeline, Expert Witness Valves, pumps, cavitation, transients, Registered Professional Engineer
Consulting History Potential Conflicts of Interest

TEC is your solution for:

  • Identifying the source of and finding solutions to difficult hydraulic problems.
  • Providing expertise on valves, pumping installations, pipelines, cavitation, transients and flow meters
  • Conducting, supervising or evaluating hydraulic model studies.
  • Serving on peer review boards.
  • Providing expert witness testimony.

Seclected services specific to oil & gas pipelines:

  • Laboratory evaluation of pipe products
  • Pipeline design review
  • Computer analysis and modeling
  • Field and laboratory testing of transients / air vents / valves

I have worked for local governments, public agencies, other firms, and for industry. If asked to provide consulting services to an entity that is not aligned with the energy pipeline industry’s interests, I would first check to ensure that I could maintain full compliance with any non-disclosure agreements prior to acceptance of any consulting engagement. Other than that point, I maintain complete autonomy in technical expert opinions and advice.