Dredging Contractors of America: Pipeline Task Force Gets to Work

The Council for Dredging & Marine Construction Safety (CDMCS), a subset of the Dredging Contractors of America (DCA), is holding its quarterly meetings with industry stakeholders and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 

Image source: cottrellcontracting.com

Earlier this week, the CDMCS Pipeline Task Force huddled for several hours discussing a path forward on pipeline safety.

The dredging workload in U.S. ports and waterways is increasing. Ports and waterways along the East and Gulf Coasts are being dredged deeper and wider to allow transit of post-Panamax vessels.

Dredging deeper calls for the utmost care and understanding of the pipelines buried in these waterways. With that, the U.S. dredging industry set out to form a task force of stakeholders that can best identify where pipelines are located before a dredging project commences, said DCA.

“I’m very pleased with the level of participation in the Pipeline Task Force (PTF),” said Michael Gerhardt, VP of the Dredging Contractors of America (DCA) and PTF Director. “We’ve been trying to get the right stakeholders in the room, and it has finally come together.” 

The Task Force includes U.S. dredging companies and the Army Corps of Engineers, Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), State of Louisiana Pipeline Safety Division, Coastal and Marine Operators Pipeline Industry Initiative (CAMO), and representatives and member companies of the American Petroleum Institute, Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, and Louisiana Mid-continent Oil & Gas Association.

Devon Carlock, VP of Government Relations & Safety for Cottrell Contracting Corporation, Co-chair of the Council for Dredging & Marine Construction Safety added that “we are moving forward with pipeline safety methods to reduce the risks associated with dredging in waterways where natural gas and liquid lines may be buried. We have set goals to achieve, and one of them will be a ‘best practices manual’ for dredging and pipeline incident prevention.” 

The Task Force will consist of three main goals consisting of three working groups. The first goal is to “support safe working practices” and this team is being led by Cottrell Contracting’s Devon Carlock.

The second goal is to “increase public awareness” through education and training, and this team is being led by CAMO Chairman Ed Landgraf. The third goal is to “strengthen data accuracy” and this team is being led by Michael Gerhardt.