Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure | Facility and Infrastructure Safety
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Facility and Infrastructure Safety

Policy Studies


Improving Upon Our Dig Laws: How State Legislatures Can Help Us Dig Safer

(August 2016) The Common Ground Alliance’s DIRT reports are an invaluable tool in helping industry and policy-makers better understand excavation damage incident trends, causes, and more. This report reviews and analyzes the data behind the most recent annual damage prevention data reports, Damage Information Reporting Tool, Volume 11 (2015) and Damage Information Reporting Tool, Natural Gas Distribution Facilities Report (2016), provides insight into what conclusions can and can’t be drawn, and makes recommendations on where to focus future efforts to improve excavation safety…

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Infrastructure Resiliency: Preventing Damage Through Critical Investments

(July 2016) In the last two years, Texas has experienced extensive flooding with estimates of more than 70 trillion gallons of rain hitting the state.1, 2 This volume of rain equates to the entire state being covered in 16 inches of water. The flooding has led to loss of life and unprecedented damage to crops, private property, and public infrastructure. The nearly $10 billion in damaged property is a significant drag on the local economy and will likely have lasting devastating impacts on individuals and businesses within the state…

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Damage Prevention Report Card

(June 2016) Technology plays a pivotal role in making everything we do easier, safer, and more efficient. While each of us notices how much technology can improve the convenience of our daily life, few pay attention to how it makes us safer as well. Technological advances in medicine have helped people to live longer and healthier lives. Technological advances in transportation networks have improved the safety of moving passengers, goods and services by air, rail, or pipeline. They have even helped keep our country safer by allowing us to protect critical information and identify potential future threats to our security…

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Back on Track: Bringing Rail Safety Into the 21st Century

(August 2015) Freight trains on tracks: Click here to read the report The nation’s bedrock infrastructure is aging, and railroads are no exception. Tracks and rail beds are not equipped to handle the demands of growing traffic. From the 4,400 percent growth of oil train shipments to the recent devastations in commuter rail incidents, the…

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Policy Research


FEDERAL IMPEDIMENTS TO P3 MARKET GROWTH

(27 May 2016) By Shane Skelton, Executive Director The U.S. Public Private Partnership (P3) market is beginning to gain steam. As we pointed out in our Policy Brief, “Innovation in the P3 Marketplace,” states and localities across the country are becoming more creative in the types of infrastructure projects P3s are being used…

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PIPELINE SAFETY LEGISLATION INCHES CLOSER TO BECOMING LAW

(02 May 2016) By Shane Skelton, Aii Executive Director Pipeline safety reauthorization legislation cleared another crucial hurdle on its way to the President’s desk on Wednesday when the U.S. House of Representatives (House) Committee on Energy & Commerce (Energy & Commerce) reported their version of the bill out of the full committee….

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IMPROVING PIPELINE SAFETY BY…DRONE?

(19 Apr 2016) By Shane Skelton, Aii Executive Director Commercial and private drone use has become a frequent topic of discussion around the country and in Washington, DC these days. New regulations and registration requirements from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), reports of close calls with air traffic, the desire to use…

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JUST SAY NO TO EUROPE AND NORD STREAM 2

(15 Mar 2016) By Debra Cagan, Senior State Department Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations, Johns Hopkins, SAIS One would think that with plunging oil and gas prices, with suppliers tripping over themselves to desperately gain market share in a flooded market, and more choices than ever in securing gas for the European…

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AII BOARD MEMBER, CHRIS KILGORE, FEATURED IN WASHINGTON POST

(07 Mar 2016)  Originally posted on the Washington Post. Even before the Coast Guard helicopter got airborne that morning, the crew could see the glow from the fire on the horizon, 40 miles away. Two ships, one of them a fully loaded oil tanker, had collided in the Gulf of Mexico near Galveston, Texas….

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REVISITING RAIL SAFETY TECHNOLOGIES

(03 Mar 2016) Last August, we released a rail safety report, “Back on Track: Bringing Rail Safety into the 21st Century,” which focused on technologies and best practices that if incorporated would improve passenger and freight rail safety. At the time we noted that we wanted to kick start a conversation on the…

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CONGRESS BEGINS WORK ON WRDA REAUTHORIZATION

(24 Feb 2016) By Shane Skelton, Aii Executive Director On February 24, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure held a hearing titled, “A Review of United States Army Corps of Engineers Reports to Congress on Future Water Resources Development and Chief’s Reports.” The hearing was held in anticipation…

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AII EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR PUBLISHED IN PUBLIC SECTOR DIGEST

(15 Jan 2016) By Shane Skelton, Read full article here. Aii’s Executive Director, Shane Skelton was published in this month’s issue of Public Sector Digest. The article titled, “Tackling the Infrastructure Deficit: Using Private Dollars for Public Projects,” proposes alternative methods for funding the nation’s crucial infrastructure projects.

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INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY DOMINATES NTSB’S 2016 “MOST WANTED” TRANSPORTATION SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS.

(14 Jan 2016) By Chanil N. De Silva; Director of Policy at Nouveau Inc. The NTSB released its annual “Most Wanted” transportation safety improvements for 2016. The list covers aviation, highway, marine, rail and pipeline networks and has been called a “roadmap from lessons learned to lives saved”. This year’s list…

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NEW TRAINING PROGRAM ANOTHER STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION FOR DAMAGE PREVENTION EFFORTS

(12 Jan 2016) Reducing, and eventually eliminating, instances of excavation damage should be the underlying goal of every Damage Prevention program. There are a number of parties involved in every excavation project – facility owners and operators, locate companies, One Call centers, and excavators. Plus, there are multiple governmental bodies and industry groups…

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AFTER REAUTHORIZATION OF MOST DOT MODAL ADMINISTRATIONS, PHMSA AND FAA LINGER

(17 Dec 2015)  On December 4th, President Obama signed a $305 billion highway bill marking a large victory for Congress and the White House. To the casual observer, it may seem as though infrastructure legislation can finally be put in the rear view mirror for another half decade – this is not so….

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TRANSPORTING CRUDE OIL BY WATER HIGHLIGHTED AT RECENT CONFERENCE

(20 Nov 2015) By Ashley Vanbuskirk: INFONEX’s Crude-by-water and Crude export conference took place this week in Houston, Texas, on November 17-18th. The event hosted many influential experts in the oil and energy industry, including Aii’s Chairman, Brigham McCown who updated attendees on the crude oil export ban reform process. The annual conference is considered a…

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PHONE TO INTERNET: A SIGN OF THINGS TO COME IN EXCAVATION SAFETY?

(09 Nov 2015) As technology continues to improve, the manner in which we use the Internet, TV, water, electricity, and other utilities has changed dramatically. The Internet allows us to watch movies or find answers to any question online in a moment. High definition TV make it possible to track a puck with…

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CALIFORNIA’S DROUGHT: WHEN THE RAIN DANCE DOESN’T CUT IT!

(02 Nov 2015) By Chanil N. De Silva; Director of Policy at Nouveau Inc. California has been suffering one of the worst droughts on record, reaching its 4th year in 2015. The severity of the situation led Gov. Brown of California to declare a drought state of emergency in January and…

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THE INFRASTRUCTURE SCORECARD: PRESIDENTIAL RACE 2016

(27 Oct 2015,) Infrastructure is the backbone of the American economy. Roads, bridges, railways, pipelines, and airports alike connect America, permitting the free flow of people and goods across the continent. The state of the nation’s infrastructure has been in the spotlight recently due to a variety of unfortunate incidents, ranging from bridges…

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BUILDING A BETTER FUTURE

(30 Sep 2015) A well built, well maintained, modernized infrastructure network is a key component of a strong economy. The state of U.S. infrastructure has been in decline in recent years, and is nowhere near the envy of the world as it once was. While only tangentially related, the U.S. economy has also…

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CALLING ON CONGRESS TO ACKNOWLEDGE EXCAVATION DAMAGE FOR PHMSA REAUTHORIZATION

(24 Sep 2015) Click here to read the letter. As Congress prepares to vote on the reauthorization of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) at the end of this month, the Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure (Aii) wants to be sure members of Congress pay special attention to the primary cause…

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ICYMI: RAIL SAFETY EVENT

(21 Sep 2015) “…you can mitigate a problem, but if you prevent it in the first place, you don’t have to mitigate. And so it’s a matter of looking at track integrity. It’s a matter of looking at human factors, which those two are the biggest causes of derailments.” (David Friedman, Vice President, Regulatory…

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DIVERTING DERAILMENTS: WORKING TOGETHER FOR RAIL SAFETY

(31 Aug 2015) The Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure is hosting a rail safety event this Thursday at the George Town Club in Washington, D.C. The roundtable discussion will cover topics related to safety on the nation’s rails related to both passenger and commodity networks. The basis of the discussion is a…

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NEW TECHNOLOGIES MEAN SAFER RAIL CROSSINGS

(11 Aug 2015) Higher standards and better safety technology have helped reduce the danger of railroad crossings over the half-century. Every safety improvement gets closer to an accident-free system, but track crossings remain inherently risky. With crossing related fatalities on the decline throughout the 21st century, the nine percent uptick in deaths in…

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CAN CALIFORNIA’S INFRASTRUCTURE STAND UP TO NATURAL DISASTERS?

(28 Jul 2015) California may be beautiful, but it is no secret that the state is subject to extreme conditions earthquake, drought, fire, and flood almost seem to replace winter, spring, summer, and fall. But despite the occasional shakedown, The Golden State has flourished as the seventh largest economy in the world. This…

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INFRASTRUCTURE FIX LOOKS TO INTERNATIONAL FUNDING

(20 Jul 2015) By Breanne Kincaid: Global wealth is increasing, and so too are the growing number of international elite looking to emigrate from their native country in search of their next opportunity. The U.S. EB-5 Visa Program offers a win-win solution for both wealthy foreign investors interested in living stateside, and…

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BUILDING NEW SOURCES OF FUNDING FOR THE NATION’S INFRASTRUCTURE

(13 Jul 2015) It has been two years since The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) infamously slammed the quality of US infrastructure with a D+ grade. Transportation infrastructure – the highways, mass transit, aviation, water, and railways traversing the country – have traditionally received the majority of their funding from the public…

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PREVENTING TRAIN ACCIDENTS IN THE 21ST CENTURY

(24 Jun 2015) Freight trains on tracks: Train accidents happen. It’s why so many independent bodies exist to drive the rail industry towards constant improvement. But even with the less than 16 accidents per million miles travelled in 2014 reported by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), every incident carries the possibility of loss of life, disruption of…

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