|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 4, 2005
Information, Please Contact:
Office of External Relations
Baltimore, MD - The Maryland Public Service Commission (“PSC” or “Commission”) announced a federal grant from the Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Office of Pipeline Safety for the purchase of mobile phones for Commission engineers who responds to natural gas and hazardous liquid accidents.
Chairman Kenneth Schisler stated, “Governor Ehrlich emphasized the importance of obtaining federal funds to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of state government. Purchasing mobile phones for Commission engineers is a perfect example of utilizing state and federal resources to protect Maryland citizens and our first responders.”
The Commission’s Engineering Division performs inspections to assure compliance with Federal Regulations and investigates all incidents where natural gas or hazardous liquids are released. Members of the Commission’s Engineering Division also perform public safety inspections of the distribution facilities of all natural gas utilities in Maryland as well as hazardous liquid pipeline facilities.
Each PSC pipeline safety engineer, along with the engineering management team, is fully trained in all aspects of fire safety and hazardous material identification in order to perform inspection and respond to accidents safely. When an incident occurs the engineers perform an on site analysis and then are required to report the accident to the National Response Center within two hours.
Commission Director of Administration and Operations, Craig Chesek, stated, “Governor Ehrlich articulated public safety as one of the five pillars of his administration. Consistent with his vision, by utilizing technology the Commission is able to ensure that our field engineers have all of the necessary resources at their disposal. Now our first responders will have the ability to receive information, feedback and advice when they are in the field responding to gas and hazard liquid accidents in order to protect Maryland citizens.”