Residential Methane Detection: NTSB’s Most Wanted List

By Erin Kurilla posted 12 days ago

During the April 6 National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) meeting, the item of “Improving Pipeline Leak Detection and Mitigation” made the NTSB’s Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements for 2021-2022. The Most Wanted List is the NTSB’s premier advocacy tool and identifies the top safety improvements that can be made across all modes to prevent accidents, minimize injuries, and save lives in the future. The NTSB believes the listed issue areas are ripe for action now; and if addressed, would make a significant impact. The 2021-2022 Most Wanted List spans improvements from Preventing Alcohol and other Drug Impaired Driving to Installing Crash-Resistant Recorders and Establishing Flight Data Monitoring Programs in the aviation industry.

Some years there are no pipeline related items on the list. However, this year there was a broad pipeline item included with Improving Pipeline Leak Detection and Mitigation. This improvement includes three elements:

1. Equipping gas transmission lines with ruptured detection technology;
2. Installing automatic shut off valves and remote control valves on natural gas transmission lines; and
3. Installing methane detectors in all residents with natural gas service.

The third item has the potential to most greatly impact APGA members. NTSB’s Robert Hall, Director of Railroad, Pipeline and Hazardous Material Investigations, stated that “given the millions of consumers of natural gas across the country there is the potential for significant consequences when leaks occur in high occupancy residential buildings.” He pointed to the incidents in Silver Spring, Md., and Dallas, Texas as evidence of the need for adoption of this technology.

Learn more at
APGA will host a webinar/roundtable on this topic on Monday April 12 at 2:00 PM ET. Register at

For questions on this article, please contact Erin Kurilla of APGA staff by phone at 202-464-2742 or by email at