To the Editor:
I read the article (December 2015 P&GJ p. 24) regarding Rich Worsinger and his role at APGA. I’m afraid Mr. Worsinger isn’t completely honest in his assessment of API RP 1173. APGA had a member on the committee who relentlessly argued against any requirements for APGA members. Their logic was that they just don’t have people to a comply with the requirements. They never suggested the risk didn’t exist, which would have been a better argument. I believe if the risk exists, small operators should address it in some way, whether with hired contractors or employees. Actually, the RP allows much flexibility by outlining what should be done, not how to do it. It is intentionally scalable for large and small operators.
At issue with Mr. Worsinger’s comments is his statement that APGA was outnumbered and out-voted by large interstate oil and gas operators. That is simply not true. The committee was made up of oil and gas transmission operators, distribution companies, municipal representation, regulators both state and federal and two public representatives. The committee spent hours seeking language the municipal operators could accept which they did. In fact, the committee members labored for two years to create this RP.
At our first ballot, which had 86% approval, we received 1,000 comments, each of which was individually considered and addressed with responses to the submitters. Many of those were from APGA. Our second ballot was unanimous from voters. There were 400 comments at that ballot, which included many from APGA members and their representatives affirming that the language they wanted was indeed included. So, I’m not sure about Mr. Worsinger’s comments that they were railroaded. In fact, they don’t want anything to apply to them or their members, whether the risk exists or not.
The introduction within the document goes to great length to allow operators to identify scalable processes, whether a large or small operator and whether just beginning a PSMS journey or whether highly evolved. I served as chairman to the RP 1173 Committee and suggest a correction to the characterization of the RP process by Mr. Worsinger.
Ron McClain, president-Products Pipelines
Kinder Morgan, Inc.
Mr. McClain’s response continues to illustrate the uphill battle APGA faces to educate government policymakers, and even those in our industry, that solutions to safety challenges of large liquid and gas pipelines do not necessarily translate to local public gas distribution systems. The safety performance record of public gas utilities is second to none, and APGA members are committed to maintaining that record. APGA is fully committed to providing pipeline safety management guidance that will appropriately and adequately address the needs of our members, who, by the way, represent the largest segment of the energy pipeline industry.
Rich Worsinger, chairman
American Public Gas Association