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WASHINGTON, March 28, 2024 – The American Petroleum Institute (API) today announced the publication of a pipeline public engagement standard that builds on industry’s progress and commitment to proactive, inclusive and collaborative engagement throughout the construction and operation of our nation’s pipelines. The first edition API Recommended Practice (RP) 1185, Pipeline Public Engagement, provides guidelines and best practices for pipeline companies to build upon existing programs, or establish and implement new stakeholder engagement processes to ensure all stakeholders – including local officials, tribal representatives, community leaders, landowners and pipeline operators – can engage in meaningful dialogue throughout the life of a pipeline.

“Our industry is proud to work with community members and regulators to continue building mutual trust and strengthening engagement between pipeline operators and the communities where we are privileged to work,” said Shawn Lyon, RP 1185 co-chair and senior vice president of Logistics and Storage at MPLX GP LLC. “RP 1185 acknowledges the diversity of both the pipeline industry and the communities in which we operate, providing a flexible, scalable framework to incorporate proactive community engagement into our pipeline safety culture. The completion of RP 1185 is a significant milestone for the pipeline industry, and we look forward to our continued work with all stakeholders to advance proactive public engagement practices as we continue on our community engagement journey.”

“The public members who helped draft this RP were grateful for the way the industry and government stakeholders involved and embraced the balanced makeup of the group, and the hard work that went into correctly identifying the need for two-way communication that recognizes the diversity of all those who seek information or desire to be included in pipeline safety discussions,” said Pipeline Safety Trust Special Advisor Carl Weimer. “We are very happy with the language and emphasis of the document, and will help however we can to ensure that implementation lives up to the agreed upon and important core principles and basic engagement elements.”

“For years regulators, public interest- and industry-stakeholders have sought to increase the public’s understanding of safety risks associated with pipelines, which is why this consensus-based effort to establish best practices is such an accomplishment,” said Alan Mayberry, Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. “PHMSA applauds the publication of RP 1185 and the collaborative efforts of pipeline safety advocates, operators, subject matter experts, and other stakeholders. This guidance helps operators understand the benefits of utilizing a variety of public engagement tactics to conduct, plan, and participate in public forums to explain safety efforts and risks, and to also listen to and consider the public’s concerns in pipeline safety decisions.”

“As an organization founded on advancing industry performance standards, API is proud to work with government agencies, academia, tribal groups, industry and other experts to further elevate community engagement into API’s world-class standards for responsible, safe operations,” said API Senior Vice President of API Global Industry Services Anchal Liddar. “The best practices and guidelines outlined in RP 1185 are the latest way API is raising the bar for safety, environmental performance and operational excellence for the oil and natural gas industry.”

Enhancing inclusivity and incorporating diverse perspectives into pipeline projects, RP 1185 was developed in coordination with representatives from the natural gas and oil industry; federal, state and local governments; tribal governments; and public interest groups and community leaders. The standard provides a framework for operators to incorporate comprehensive and effective engagement best practices into existing operations and new project developments while allowing members of the public to engage with pipeline companies that operate in their community.

RP 1185 builds off previous stakeholder guidelines in API RP 1173, Pipeline Safety Management Systems, and represents the latest step in the industry’s commitment to continuous improvement and advancing a zero-incident safety culture. Through its emphasis on proactive, inclusive and collaborative engagement, RP 1185 establishes a new framework for responsible pipeline development and operations.

For more information on API Recommended Practice 1185, click here.

API represents all segments of America’s natural gas and oil industry, which supports nearly 11 million U.S. jobs and is backed by a growing grassroots movement of millions of Americans. Our approximately 600 members produce, process and distribute the majority of the nation’s energy, and participate in API Energy Excellence®, which is accelerating environmental and safety progress by fostering new technologies and transparent reporting. API was formed in 1919 as a standards-setting organization and has developed more than 800 standards to enhance operational and environmental safety, efficiency and sustainability.