PHMSA Announces Upcoming Public Meeting with New Pipeline Safety Voluntary Information-Sharing System Working Group
  • Article
Nov 23, 2016

PHMSA 32-16
Monday, November 28, 2016
Contact:  Allie Aguilera
Tel.: 202-366-5471


PHMSA Announces Upcoming Public Meeting with New Pipeline Safety Voluntary Information-Sharing System Working Group

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) today announced it will hold a meeting of the pipeline safety Voluntary Information-Sharing System (VIS) Working Group on December 19, 2016 in the Washington, D.C. area.  The meeting will be open to the public and will be the VIS Working Group’s first meeting once the member appointment process is complete.  PHMSA is currently accepting member nominations until November 28, 2016 based on the nomination Federal Register notice.  Final appointments will be made by Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. 

The VIS Working Group is a newly created advisory committee that will provide the Secretary of Transportation with independent advice and recommendations relating to pipeline safety, specifically on whether an information-sharing system for pipeline owners and operators is needed, ways to encourage the exchange of pipeline inspection information, and best practices for protecting proprietary and security-sensitive information.

“The new VIS Working Group is not just about sharing data; it’s about collaborating across industry and government to reach the next level of pipeline safety,” said PHMSA Administrator Marie Therese Dominguez. “Arming operators with a structure to share data and best practices to inform their safety regimes is a priority for pipeline safety and this group will be critical in developing those recommendations.”

As described in today’s Federal Register notice, the VIS Working Group will discuss collaborative efforts to improve pipeline inspection information sharing.  The group will be asked to develop recommendations on how best to establish a voluntary information-sharing system to share and protect pipeline safety and inspection related data. 

Specifically, PHMSA is seeking recommendations on how best to:

  • Identify the need for a system to confidentially share pipeline dig verification data with in-line inspection operators;
  • Encourage the sharing of pipeline inspection information and the development of advanced pipeline inspection technologies;
  • Share data to increase knowledge of the advantages and disadvantages of the varying types of in-line inspection technologies;
  • Create a secure system that protects proprietary information while also encouraging information sharing and the development of advanced pipeline inspection technologies;
  • Protect safety- and security-sensitive information, as well as proprietary information; and
  • Determine associated regulatory, funding, and legal issues.

The VIS Working Group’s recommendations will be published on PHMSA’s website. 

A location for the December VIS Working Group meeting has not been selected at this time, but PHMSA will publish the meeting location, agenda, and any additional information on the VIS Working Group web page at:


The mission of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is to protect people and the environment by advancing the safe transportation of energy and other hazardous materials that are essential to our daily lives. PHMSA develops and enforces regulations for the safe operation of the nation's 2.6 million mile pipeline transportation system and the nearly one million daily shipments of hazardous materials by land, sea, and air. Please visit or for more information.