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Prof. Ian Savage Recently Chaired as an Expert in TRB Special Report

Transportation Center and Economics faculty member Ian Savage recently chaired an expert committee to assess regulatory standards and criteria for deciding whether automatic or remote-control shutoff valves should be installed on existing hazardous liquid and gas transmission pipelines. The review, which was mandated by Congress, was conducted by the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Automatic or remote-control shutoff valves have been required on newly constructed pipelines located in or near populated and environmentally sensitive areas since 2022. They are intended to enable faster shutdowns of ruptured pipe segments. However, the requirement for “rupture mitigation valves” does not apply to pipelines installed prior to 2022. The report examines the regulatory requirements that apply and issues a series of recommendations for making sounder decisions about when and where to retroactively install these valves.

The report was published in February 2024 as TRB Special Report 349: “Ensuring Timely Pipeline Shutdowns in Emergencies: When to Install Rupture Mitigation Valves.” For more details and to read the report, go to:


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