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    Climbers' CornerTree Academy

    Applying IVM Best Management Practices to Pipeline Rights-of-Way


    Vegetation growing on pipeline ROW can compromise the integrity of pipeline facilities and cause problems with public safety, energy supply, security, emergency service restoration, ROW and facility access, and lines-of-sight.  Vegetation on ROW growing near pipelines can be systematically managed to:

        ·      Facilitate safe, reliable, and cost-efficient service and transport   
    ·     Facilitate routine ground access to the ROW for inspection, maintenance, and testing of the pipeline
    ·      Facilitate aerial patrol of the ROW to identify maintenance needs and encroachment issues    ·     Facilitate compliance with applicable laws and regulations    
    Potentially provide other natural resource values 

          The use of IVM can reduce maintenance costs and improve access to and security of pipeline ROW.  IVM has proven cost-effective in controlling unwanted vegetation in other ROW corridors with similar objectives, such as electric transmission ROW and along roadsides.  The potential exists to manage vegetation on pipeline ROW in a similar manner as electric transmission ROW because both experience similar vegetation management challenges.

    The presentation makes a business case for the application of Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM) principles and practices on pipeline rights-of-way (ROW).  Presentation discussion topics include:
    •  A brief history and description of IVM   
    • Management and field applications of IVM
    • Benefits and reasons for IVM on pipeline ROW including safety, pipeline inspection/testing/maintenance, FERC compliance, natural resource impacts and enhancements, and public relations opportunities
    • Pipeline Zone – Border Zone concept   
    • Case Studies



    Ryan Brockbank is responsible for the oversight and direction of Western ECI, leading one of the nation’s largest groups of professionals involved in assisting utilities to successfully manage their infrastructure and natural resources.  Ryan has over 20 years of experience in the areas of utility vegetation management consulting and professional contract personnel oversight and management.  Mr. Brockbank has developed expertise specific to the challenges encountered in the Western United States, especially in the area of legal compliance, fire risk, and safety. Over the years, Mr. Brockbank has worked on various pipeline and electric utility vegetation management projects including distribution line clearance studies, transmission ROW studies, environmental impact studies, quality control management services, project management, training services, and research projects.  Ryan is a past Director of the UAA and is currently Chairperson of the Pipeline Marketing Subcommittee as well as a member of the UAA Marketing Committee.  Mr. Brockbank is also a co-author of the ISA’s Utility Specialist Certification Study Guide.

    Climbers' CornerTree Academy

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