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MN pipeline operators select MSPA to educate emergency responders

More than 20 pipeline operators in Minnesota have selected Mid States Public Awareness (MSPA) Group to lead the Minnesota Pipeline Community Awareness and Emergency Response (CAER) pipeline safety outreach and education meetings in 2008.

CAER, a collaborative effort by natural gas, petroleum and liquid pipeline operators in Minnesota, organize meetings annually to educate emergency responders on issues related to pipeline safety.

The underground network of thousands of miles of pipelines in Minnesota is the safest and most reliable means for transporting natural gas, petroleum and liquids.

Although serious incidents are rare, CAER member companies are committed to providing emergency responders with the information they need to ensure public safety if underground utilities exist in their community.

MSPA was selected in a competitive process to administer the CAER meetings and will be responsible for requiring member pipeline operators to comply with federal laws mandating public awareness programs for emergency responders.

Ron Peterson of MSPA has 15 years of experience as a certified trainer working with pipeline safety organizations and will lead the 2008 CAER meetings.

CAER's educational materials and interaction with pipeline personnel helps to guide safe and effective responses to pipeline emergencies.

Formed in 2001, CAER has led over 100 presentations attended by county sheriffs, emergency management agencies and local fire and police departments.

In 2007, more than 1000 emergency responders attended meetings in 24 communities, from Austin to Thief River Falls. Emergency responders are encouraged to attend CAER meetings in 2008.

Information about dates and locations will be posted on the Web site www.minnesotacaer. com and sent to departments and agencies statewide in the coming weeks.

Remember -- Always Call Before You Dig! Call 811 or call Gopher State One-Call at 1-800-252-1166 at least two business days before you begin your digging project.