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LeClairRyan Offers Primer on How Pipeline Companies Can Limit Terrorism Liability

10/04/2018

--Veteran attorneys from the national law firm to present webinar on Oct. 16 covering under-utilized protections in the 2002 federal SAFETY Act; Energy Drone Coalition to sponsor the event.

National law firm LeClairRyan is offering a webinar on Tues., Oct. 16, to help pipeline companies, as well as drone inspection contractors that serve them, limit the potentially massive liability that can accrue in the wake of a terrorist attack.

“As pipeline operators are aware, the terrorist risk they face is broader than the risks faced by other industries,” said Morgan W. Campbell, a partner in LeClairRyan’s Alexandria office who represents federally-regulated transportation companies in litigation, NTSB investigations and other emergency response matters. “The purpose of our webinar is to explain the details of how pipeline companies can obtain liability-limited certification from the Department of Homeland Security via the 2002 SAFETY Act. It’s an important component of comprehensive risk management.”

The Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies (“SAFETY”) Act of 2002 was designed to protect the gamut of businesses that could be potential assets in the fight against terrorism. As Mark McKinnon, a 27-year veteran of aviation law and an Alexandria-based partner in LeClairRyan explains, Congress was concerned that, faced with such a high level of liability risk, U.S. businesses would jettison plans for innovative products and services. “People tend to think it’s all about aviation and technology, but in fact the protections in the SAFETY Act are available to more mundane systems and processes, and to a wide variety of industries,” the attorney said.

“Depending on the level of SAFETY Act coverage, a company can be immune from suit, set a cap on damages and be guaranteed the ability to get out of an unfriendly state court,” McKinnon explained.

Campbell noted that pipelines can leverage their existing systems to obtain SAFETY Act protection and avoid potentially ruinous monetary judgments. “In particular, companies with procedures in place to minimize the risk of intentional damage to critical infrastructure, similar to those recommended in TSA’s Pipeline Security Guidelines, are in a position to benefit,” he added.

Conducted by Campbell and McKinnon from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Eastern time, the Oct. 16 webinar will explain in detail what the SAFETY Act is and how it can help pipeline companies.

Topics will include:

  • the benefits of the SAFETY Act;
  • a step-by-step look at the SAFETY Act certification process;
  • what DHS looks for in applications;
  • common mistakes in seeking certification and how to avoid them; and
  • the different levels of SAFETY Act protection

The audience will have the opportunity to ask questions and shape the discussion. “The little-known SAFETY Act is an invaluable tool for protecting every entity that is responsible for protecting the public,” McKinnon said. “Those in the pipeline industry who aren’t aware of it stand to benefit by learning more.”

To attend the webinar and/or RSVP, click here. Event Number: 667 819 759 | Event Password: 1016Pipeline | For more information, email .

About the Energy Drone Coalition
The Energy Drone Coalition (EDC) is dedicated to launching, growing and scaling enterprise UAV operations in energy companies worldwide. It is the largest community in the world where key challenges & solutions are discussed for how all segments of the energy industry are currently operating UAVs successfully — Oil & Gas, Power, Maritime, Wind/Solar, Chemical, Nuclear, Refining, Petrochemical, Energy Engineering & Construction and more. Through year-round digital resources and annual live Summits in Houston, TX, EDC connects major segments of the UAV ecosystem with the energy industrial complex asset owners and end users.  www.energydronecoalition.com