[Federal Register Volume 63, Number 251 (Thursday, December 31, 1998)]
[Pages 72344-72345]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 98-34634]



Research and Special Programs Administration
[Docket No. RSPA-98-4029; Notice 2]

Pipeline Safety: One-Call Systems Study

AGENCY: Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA); Office of 
Pipeline Safety (OPS), DOT.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: This notice announces RSPA's current activities to collect 
information and solicit public participation in a study of prevention 
of damage to underground facilities. RSPA established the Damage 
Prevention Best Practices Study Team. The Study Team consists of 
representatives of government, public, and industries interested in 
identifying best practices preventing damage to underground facilities. 
RSPA has developed a Web-based information system to support 
communication among Study Team participants. The One Call Systems Study 
Information System (OCSS Information System) provides access to the 
public for documents prepared by the Study Team. It also allows public 
input on the issues addressed by the Team, or any other issues relevant 
to underground damage prevention. The system also provides information 
to the public on the various Study Team meetings being held around the 
country until the conclusion of the study in June, 1999. All Study Team 
meetings are open to the public. RSPA invites all interested 
individuals to access the OCSS Information System, review information 
regarding the Study Team, and provide the Study Team with comments and 
any additional issues of concern relating to damage prevention best 
practices. The OCSS Information System can be accessed through the OPS 
Homepage at http://ops.dot.gov, under the ``Damage Prevention'' option.

DATES: The following meetings have been scheduled:

Planning and Design Practices Task Team

January 19-20, 1999--Orlando, FL
February 8-9, 1999--Las Vegas, NV

One-Call Center Practices Task Team

January 5-6, 1999--Dallas, TX
February, 9-10, 1999--Las Vegas, NV

Locating and Marking Practices Task Team

January 7-8, 1999--Dallas, TX
February 9, 1999--Las Vegas, NV

Excavation Practices Task Team

January 6-7, 1999--Baltimore, MD
February 6, 1999--Las Vegas, NV

Compliance Practices Task Team

January 6-8, 1999--Baltimore, MD
February 2-3, 1999--Orlando, FL

Mapping Task Team

January 11-13, 1999--Phoenix, AZ
February 10, 1999--Las Vegas, NV
April 13-14, 1999--Houston, TX

Reporting and Evaluation Practices Task Team

February 9, 1999--Las Vegas, NV

Public Education and Awareness Task Team

January 6-7, 1999--Baltimore, MD
February 17-18, 1999--Houston, TX
March 22-23, 1999--Dallas, TX
April 29-30, 1999--Atlanta, GA

Emerging Technologies Task Team

January 20-21, 1999--Raleigh, NC
February 17-18, 1999--Raleigh, NC
March 17-18, 1999--Raleigh, NC
April 21, 1999--TBD

    Specific details regarding times and meeting places can be found on 
the OCSS Information System. These meetings are subject to change.

ADDRESSES: Comments should be sent to the Dockets Facility, U.S. 
Department of Transportation, Plaza 401, 400 Seventh Street, SW, 
Washington, DC 20590-0001, or you can E-Mail your comments to 
[email protected]. Comments should identify the docket number 
RSPA-98-4029. Persons should submit the original comment document and 
one copy. Persons wishing to receive confirmation of receipt of their 
comments must include a self-addressed stamped postcard. The Dockets 
Facility is located on the plaza level of the Nassif Building in Room 
401, 400 Seventh Street, SW, Washington, DC. The Dockets Facility is 
open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except on 
Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Eben M. Wyman, (202) 366-0918, or by 
e-mail ([email protected]), regarding the subject matter of this 



    RSPA's Office of Pipeline Safety established a national 
organizational framework and staffing plan to study underground 
facility damage prevention practices, consistent with federal pipeline 
safety laws. This study, scheduled to be completed in June, 1999, will 
identify and evaluate current practices related to one-call 
notification systems. It will identify those that are most effective in 
protecting the public, excavators, and the environment and in 
preventing disruptions and damage to public services and underground 
facilities. Study Team participants represent a broad range of 
utilities and distribution systems, highway departments, railroads, 
excavators, municipal governments, trade associations and academia. The 
Study Team is charged to meet, discuss, and develop a consensus report 
that identifies practices used by one-call centers, excavators, 
facility locators, and underground facility operators to prevent damage 
to buried facilities.
    OPS held a public meeting in August, 1998, to solicit participation 
in this initiative. OPS met with the Study Team in Washington, DC on 
September 20-21, 1998, to begin the process of identifying other Study 
Team participants, and again on October 19-20, 1998, to confirm the 
Study Team's structure and develop protocols for exchanging 
information. Nine Task Teams have been established to provide input to 

[[Page 72345]]

report. The Task Team focus areas include: Emerging Technologies, 
Compliance Practices, Excavation Practices, Locating and Marking 
Practices, Mapping Practices, One-Call Center Practices, Planning and 
Design Practices, Public Education Practices, and Reporting and 
Evaluation Practices. These Task Teams are meeting frequently over the 
next few months to develop their content for the report.
    All Task Teams have scheduled their respective meetings and have 
begun identifying the best practices in their respective focus areas. 
The Teams are coordinating information, receiving and disseminating 
comments, and drafting the introductory and concluding chapters of the 
report on damage prevention best practices. As mentioned before, all 
Study Team meetings are open to the public and OPS invites public 
    Information about team activities and specific meeting information 
is available through the OPS Information System (OPSIS). OPSIS and the 
OCSS Information System can be accessed through the OPS Homepage 
(ops.dot.gov). Select the ``Damage Prevention'' and then the ``OPS 
Damage Prevention Best Practices--Implementation of One-Call Systems 
Study'' options.

OCSS Information System provisions

    After accessing the OCSS Information System, the user is provided 
with several options, including:
     The ability to submit issues and concerns for 
consideration by the Study Team;
     Contact information for all Study Team members;
     Information on scheduled meetings; and
     Access to applicable documents. These include the ``TEA-
21'' one call provisions, protocols of the Study Team, meeting 
summaries, and the current damage prevention practices identified to-
day by the Task Teams.

``Submit an Issue''

    The OCSS Information System allows input concerning damage 
prevention from interested parties outside of the team participants. 
The ``submit an issue'' option provides the user the ability to submit 
a detailed description of the problem or issue of concern, and allows 
the user to suggest a solution or recommend a ``best practice'' to 
address the problem or issue. The user may also recommend which Task 
Team should address the issue further.
    Individuals without access to the Internet may also submit an issue 
to the Study Team through OPS. OPS will forward written issues to the 
Team for consideration. These will subsequently be entered into the 
OCSS Information System. Issue submissions should include the contact 
information for the person submitting the issue. This includes the 
person's name, organization, job title, E-mail address, phone number 
(E-mail or phone required), mailing address, detailed description of 
problem or issue and, if applicable, a recommended solution or ``best 
practice''. Issues submitted outside of the OCSS Information System 
should be sent in writing to Eben M. Wyman, Office of Pipeline Safety, 
400 7th St., SW, Room 7128, Washington, DC 20590.
    In order for RSPA to manage the considerable number of ``issues'' 
that may be submitted, the submitter's contact information is required. 
Any information provided is for Study Team consideration and 
evaluation. The Study Team will record the disposition of each issue 
offered for consideration. Any information provided may appear in 
Government reports and/or other public documents. Proprietary 
information should not be provided.

    Issued in Washington, DC on December 23, 1998.
Richard B. Felder,
Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety.
[FR Doc. 98-34634 Filed 12-30-98; 8:45 am]