Mech. Damage Study
  Contact Us Contact Us
       Mechanical Damage Study
Commenting Status Closed

Mechanical damage, resulting primarily from excavation activity, remains a major cause of pipeline failure and the leading source of high consequence pipeline incidents. Significant efforts by PHMSA, the pipeline industry, and stakeholder organizations have increased public awareness of the risks of excavation in pipeline corridors. However, research regarding detection of mechanical damage using in-line inspection (ILI) technologies, characterization of the severity of mechanical damage, and mitigation measures for reducing the occurrence of mechanical damage is fragmented. No single prior study has simultaneously assessed the state of knowledge of each of these considerations or their interrelationships. PHMSA believes undertaking this study was necessary to pull known information together so that further collaborate will occur from a more common knowledge level.

On February 28-March 1, 2006, PHMSA held a major public workshop on mechanical damage. The workshop was intended to ensure broad outreach to and involvement by, the primary stakeholders in the development of a common frame of reference useful in advancing technology addressing mechanical damage issues. Presentations and summary of the workshop are available by clicking here.

Using inputs from the workshop, PHMSA commissioned a synthesis study on mechanical damage to evaluate the state of technology as well as gaps in the accepted technology necessary to understand, identify, assess, manage, and mitigate mechanical damage of pipelines. As an initial step in the process, input was sought through a public comment process on the definition of mechanical damage that provided the foundation for this report. A significant part of the report effort was interviews with pipeline operators to seek their input on mechanical damage issues. Successful completion and acceptance of this study will require the continued support and participation of all stakeholders.

PHMSA invited comments on the final draft report during an open comment period ending January 15, 2009. Comments are now being reviewed. A Final Report will be issued during the 1st Quarter of 2009.

Please direct any questions to Chris Mayernik at