In 2016, Pipeline Safety Coalition worked with the City of San Bruno to secure funding from DOT/PHMSA through a Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) to develop an organizational framework and operational strategy for implementing a National Pipeline Survivor Support System, also known as the Pipeline Survivor Network.
The Coalition facilitated a scoping and brainstorming meeting in August of 2016 at NTSB headquarters. Participants in that meeting included staff from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), who have participated in previous pipeline disaster investigations and who work in the Transportation Family Disaster Assistance program, PHMSA’s Program Development branch, Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health (SAMH) Mental Health Crisis Counseling and Disaster Assistance programs, the Executive Director of M.A.D.D., a survivor of the Allentown, PA pipeline explosion, the City Manager of San Bruno, California also a pipeline disaster survivor, and the then Executive Director and Founder of Pipeline Safety Coalition, Lynda Farrell. The scoping meeting was facilitated by Dr. Simona Perry, current Executive Director of Pipeline Safety Coalition, who at the time was serving as a consultant to the project. (Photo above: Some of the meeting participants at the August 2016 scoping session at NTSB headquarters. From left to right: Debbie Weir (M.A.D.D. CEO), Terri Spear (SAMHSA, Emergency Coordinator), Patty Voight (Allentown, PA pipeline disaster survivor), Dr. Nikki Bellamy (SAMHSA, Center for Mental Health Services), Dr. Simona Perry (c.a.s.e. Consulting Services LLC/Pipeline Safety Coalition), Lynda Farrell (Pipeline Safety Coalition), Connie Jackson (City of San Bruno, City Manager and pipeline disaster survivor), Chris Hart (NTSB Chairman).)
In 2020, Pipeline Safety Coalition will begin convening gatherings across the nation to further develop the Survivor Network framework and strategies. While we have the basic elements to stand up a National Advisory Committee and begin finding the financial resources to fulfill our goals, we are deeply committed to building this network with and for the grassroots.