Over the past ten years, the Pipeline Safety Trust has conducted an annual review of each state’s pipeline safety website to determine the amount of publicly available information and how accessible it is to members of the public. When the public wonders about pipelines near their homes, they will often reach out to their state first to see how pipelines are regulated and to learn about the risks posed by pipelines. For this reason, we believe it is vital that these state websites have certain information available to the public; we then use our annual transparency review to show which states are sharing this information with the public and which are not.
The pipeline safety statutes allow for States to assume safety authority (including regulation and inspection) over intrastate gas pipelines, hazardous liquid pipelines, and underground natural gas storage through Certifications and Agreements with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).
This review considers several factors including how easily the site is found, accessibility to laws and regulatory authority information, inspection records, data related to incidents and enforcement actions, and information about the siting and routing process of new pipeline projects. In our review, there are 33 points possible on a total of 11 different criteria, resulting in a range of 0 to 3 points per individual criteria. We consider below 17 points to be failing, 17-24 points to be passing, 25-32 points to be good, and a perfect score of 33 points is excellent.
Along with the map showing each state’s overall score and the 10-year improvement graphic, we have put together a more comprehensive report which highlights the overall improvement of state pipeline safety websites over the last ten years. Many thanks to our Data Manager, James Eager, for helping us visualize this data! You can check out the report here.
If you’re interested in finding out more about our auditing or transparency review program, please contact Amanda McKay at .