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New Communications Platform Gives Pipeline Operators State-of-the-Art Tool for Stakeholder Communications

PIER is a Web-enabled, on-demand communications platform that enables communicators, safety and security personnel and others to send, receive and manage critical information quickly, directly and transparently with a broad range of stakeholders, including emergency responders, contractors, news media, residents and regulatory authorities.

ATLANTA – July 22, 2008 – The Pipeline Group, Celeritas Technologies and PIER Systems introduced today a communications platform designed specifically to help pipeline operators meet their commitments for public awareness, safety, emergency response and RP1162 compliance.

On the first day of the Southern Gas Association’s annual Operating Conference here, officials from The Pipeline Group and Celeritas Technologies said they will make their emergency response and stakeholder contact information available on an edition of PIER proprietary to The Pipeline Group.

PIER is a Web-enabled, on-demand communications platform that enables communicators, safety and security personnel and others to send, receive and manage critical information quickly, directly and transparently with a broad range of stakeholders, including emergency responders, contractors, news media, residents and regulatory authorities.

"The Pipeline Group edition of PIER combines the pipeline industry’s largest database of emergency responders and other stakeholders with the best tool in the business for engaging in instant, two-way communications with them," said Jim Mings, president and chief executive officer of The Pipeline Group.

Mings added The Pipeline Group’s proprietary version of PIER reflects his company’s commitment to "building trust between the pipeline and the public. Credible and timely communications are critical to developing strong, lasting relationships. By teaming with Celeritas and PIER, we can help pipeline operators build the trust and confidence among stakeholders that is so necessary for their success."

Brett Lester, president, Celeritas, said he believes The Pipeline Group edition of PIER will enable pipeline companies to enhance their compliance programs. "RP1162 sets the standard for accountability and effectiveness in the pipeline industry, and Celeritas’ participation in The Pipeline Group edition of PIER helps to meet and exceed those expectations," Lester said.

He added that all communications with stakeholders conducted on The Pipeline Group edition of the PIER — whether it’s via telephone, e-mail, text message or written notification — will be documented on Celeritas’ software, which is the industry standard in pipeline regulatory compliance.

"We’re delighted to be working with two of the biggest and most respected names in pipeline public awareness and safety," said Gerald Baron, PIER Systems president. "The Pipeline Group and Celeritas share our belief that speed, efficiency, and direct communication are paramount in building public trust and confidence in a world that has an insatiable appetite for information."

Baron added that PIER Systems can also help pipeline companies manage their day-to-day public affairs inquiry management and communications needs.

About RP1162
Developed by gas and hazardous materials pipeline operators, American Petroleum Institute Recommended Practices 1162, or RP1162, details the pipeline industry’s requirements for maintaining public awareness and safety. RP1162 is mandated under the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002. The U.S. Department of Transportation is responsible for compliance.

About PIER Systems
The Public Information and Emergency Response (PIER) System is the world’s first and only full spectrum, on-demand communication management Web application. Developed in the wake of the 1999 Olympic Pipeline disaster in Bellingham, Wash., PIER provides all the critical tools communicators need in a single, easy-to-use control center. PIER clients include: U.S. Coast Guard, BP, Shell Oil, Marathon, Enbridge, AllState Insurance Company and Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

About Celeritas Technologies
Celeritas Technologies is an enterprise-class information technology consulting firm that specializes in application development, product engineering and infrastructure management. Areas of emphasis include: GIS services for government as well as the telecom, oil, gas and utilities industries, and public awareness, damage prevention, RP1162 and pipeline management solutions.

About The Pipeline Group
With nearly 400 clients, The Pipeline Group is a full-service, consulting organization for the pipeline and hazardous materials industry. The Pittsburgh-based company offers "turn-key" public awareness, emergency response, community right-to-know and RP1162 damage prevention plans. In 2007, The Pipeline Group conducted emergency response, excavation and landowner awareness programs for more than 30,000 individuals at 300 events in 35 states.

SOURCE  The Pipeline Group
CONTACT:  Jeff Worden, APR, The Pipeline Group, +1-412-253-0816, [email protected]

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