A nearly perfect score rendered the Arizona Corporation Commission’s Pipeline Safety Section safe and reliable in the eyes of DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration Monday in Phoenix, with the division tallying 99.5 percent.
PHSMA conducts annual audits at 27 related statewide businesses to check that firms meet federal safety standards, extending healthy grant funding for companies in compliance. The Administration reimburses those agencies 80 percent of operational costs. Translated into dollars and cents for the Arizona Commission, that equals $1.2 million.
“This is more than about bragging rights,” said Commission Chairman Susan Bitter Smith. “This shows the high level of expertise in our division and the high bar that is set here in our state for safety and for the reliability of services.”
The Commission’s Safety Division has scored well consistently over the last five years, achieving 99 percent or higher. Robert Miller, the Commission’s Pipeline Safety Supervisor, praised training programs for the department’s success rate, stating that Arizona is one of only a few jurisdictions that offer master meter operator courses, rendering their level of expertise at the same standard as federal inspectors.
“We have a lot of training programs that other states don’t have,” he said, noting that Arizona’s achievement can set an example for other states to follow as training programs become more widely available nationwide.