ARCHIVED - Luncheon Keynote - Pipeline Safety - A Shared Responsibility - Carl Weimer, Executive Director - Pipeline Safety Trust

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Safety Forum - June 5-6, 2013

Carl Weimer, Executive Director
Pipeline Safety Trust

How could companies improve their communication/PR teams to more effectively communicate with the public?

I think the main thing both companies and regulators need to start doing a better job of is answering people's question and providing the information they are interested in. If the information is not available or if there are security concerns about providing it that should be communicated too. Too often the communication is a one way street with companies working really hard to provide the information they believe is important for people to know (such as call before you dig), but not really responding well to requests for other types of information from the public or local government. I think dedicated ombudsman to just listen to and respond to the public would go a long way.

You mentioned Canada can improve its pipeline mapping system, what other improvements can be made?

The one thing that struck me when I tried hard to get information from the NEB and provincial authority's website was how little information was available, how disconnected it is between different sources, and how it appears some valuable data is not even collected. In the U.S. PHMSA has come a long way in providing good info easily in the past ten years. A look at their stakeholders’ web site will provide a good overview of the types of things they collect and make available.

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