Unmitigated corrosion threatens our environment and public safety, sometimes with catastrophic results and it significantly affects our economy and society each day. Whether in the form of a bridge collapse, a pipeline failure, or even a dead car battery; unmitigated corrosion harms people, assets, and the environment at a cost of more than $500 billion a year to the U.S. economy. Fortunately, when properly addressed, the harmful effects of corrosion can be mitigated, and costs can be reduced by as much as thirty percent.
Corrosion is an issue that can no longer be overlooked by policy makers in Washington, D.C. NACE’s Public Policy and Outreach Committee is working with Members of Congress to ensure that relevant legislation includes language which supports proper corrosion control planning and the use of qualified personnel. Our main goal is to ensure that corrosion control is a priority in policies that impact America’s infrastructure.
No other association can brings the breadth of corrosion knowledge and expertise that NACE members possess. Corrosion professionals have the skillset, the knowledge, and the experience to protect the world from the effects of corrosion. NACE members must bring that message to the forefront of policy makers nationwide.
Background: A strong national defense is critical to America’s security and safety. On a daily basis, our nation faces potential threats throughout the world. Often times, these threats are unique and almost impossible to predict. As a result, it is essential that our military is prepared at all times. Congress and the Department of Defense (DoD) must continue to invest in programs and technologies that improve our military’s preparedness and readiness to answer any challenge or mission on a moment’s notice.
Among the biggest challenges for the DoD is the corrosion of military equipment, which can be detrimental to critical response time. To address this challenge, the DoD worked in coordination with NACE to develop the DoD Office of Corrosion Policy and Oversight (CPO). Since 2005, NACE has worked with DoD to provide world-renowned training and certification programs to DoD personnel in the war against corrosion. Through this partnership, the DoD reduces corrosion of military assets, trains hundreds of DoD personnel each year, and ensures every asset is effective and operational at all times.
Our Principles: The CPO is viewed as a major success by both the DoD and the federal government, and it continues to produce one of the highest returns on investment of any federal department, office, or agency. In addition to protecting and improving the life and effectiveness of DoD assets; corrosion control planning reduces overall costs - which enables DoD and Congress to invest in critical technology and programs that shape the future of our nation’s military.
To build on the progress that DoD and NACE have made, Congress must continue investing in the CPO. At a time of budget concerns and fiscal constraints, CPO is crucial to the mission of military readiness.
Major Areas of Focus:
Background: The United States continues to grow as one of the world’s largest energy producers. Over the past decade, America has made significant strides in energy independence and energy diversity by investing in various forms of renewable energy and expanding domestic production and transmission. For the U.S. to continue on this path and achieve energy independence and security, we must continue to have a diversified approach encompassing several forms of energy – including nuclear, solar, clean coal, oil shale, hydropower, oil and natural gas, and renewable energy. To support and sustain the availability of these forms of energy, the U.S. must use the newest technologies and best practices.
Corrosion is a primary factor affecting the longevity, efficiency, and reliability of pipelines that transport energy resources throughout the country. Corrosion is especially a concern for oil refineries, nuclear facilities, and oil and gas exploration and production, which will account for at least 50 percent of the world’s energy supplies until 2035. Corrosion also affects other forms of energy generation and transportation, including several forms of renewable energy. For example, offshore and on-shore windmills are starting to have major challenges with corrosion. Additionally, solar collection systems have issues with corrosion as they are exposed to severe elements and located in areas with very difficult conditions.
Given these challenges and the importance of this resource, it is essential that we enact policies that protect critical assets that help advance our energy future, increase our energy independence, and strengthen overall safety.
Our Principles: NACE International continues to be the world-leader in educating and training professionals to mitigate the harmful effects of corrosion. For seventy-four years, NACE has developed reliable standards that have been utilized by numerous industries, state governments, U.S. federal agencies, and governments worldwide. We have trained thousands of corrosion professionals and have the most trusted and trial-tested corrosion curriculums in the country. Our members demonstrate their value on a daily basis.
In 2016, it is expected that Congress will address pipeline safety policies and reauthorize the Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). As Congress debates these issues, NACE will work with Congress to inform policy makers how corrosion control improves the safety, reliability, and efficiency of energy generation and transport. We will support policies to improve efficiency and reliability of energy assets, expand the diversification of energy production, advance education and training opportunities, and increase maintenance and investment in pipelines – which are the safest way to transport energy resources. Additionally, we will pursue policies that promote energy conservation and efficiency as part of a national energy strategy that incorporates a wide range of best practices and standards. Our goal is simple. We want to improve safety and expand integrity management.
Background: Protecting the environment from the devastating effects of corrosion is a fundamental mission to NACE and NACE members throughout the world. Environmental protection is central to corrosion science and NACE curriculums. If not properly designed or maintained, a structure can significantly damage its surrounding environment. Structures that prematurely fail not only have hazardous effects for the environment, but they are also unnecessarily disposed of, which creates greater waste and increases landfills throughout the country. Without corrosion control planning and qualified corrosion control professionals, pipelines could leak, the amount of U.S. waste products could increase, drilling platforms could fail, harmful chemicals could leak into our streams and rivers, and the transportation of hazardous materials could pose an even greater risk. In the past, we’ve seen the consequences of failing to follow these principles. By utilizing modern technology and best practices, our members protect the environment from these potential, catastrophic effects.
There are several ways to control corrosion – including the selection of materials, the application of coatings, and the installation of cathodic protection systems. NACE members design, implement, and maintain the most effective corrosion control plans to protect structures and their surrounding environments. We apply our education, training, and experience to utilize the tools that best answer the challenges before us.
Our Principles: NACE will continue working with Congress and federal agencies to ensure relevant legislation and regulations emphasize the need for design and maintenance plans that extend an asset’s useful life while also protecting the environment. In the past several years, we’ve worked closely with the EPA, BSEE, and PHMSA to ensure environmental protection. The most impactful policies stress the use of technologically advanced coating application and removal technologies, expand the role of corrosion control technologies in federally-funded projects, highlight the importance of continued maintenance on critical assets, and emphasize the need for greater education and training opportunities. By adopting best practices and standards, we will protect our environment and our most precious resources.
Background: In 2015, the U.S. economy made significant progress. For the first time in years, Americans are optimistic about the future and consumer confidence is quickly rising. While the economy is quickly approaching prerecession activity, it is essential that policy makers continue to pursue policies that strengthen American’s economy and increase job opportunities.
As lawmakers consider legislation that benefits all Americans, there must be a renewed focus on increased education and training. It’s clear, when Americans have access to more education and training, they have a higher chance of finding a job and building a long-lasting career - simply put, increased education and skills lead to more opportunities. It’s crucial that lawmakers support policies to promote job creation and strengthen our economy. Increased opportunities for technical training should be at the top of the list.
Opportunities in the corrosion industry remain high and are increasing. There are 39,700 active NACE certifications worldwide, and demand for NACE-certified professionals is rapidly growing worldwide. In most cases, a NACE certification means more job opportunities with the possibility of career advancement and a competitive salary. Corrosion professionals can build long-term careers in an innovative field that improves our quality of life, protects our environment, and moves America forward.
Our Principles: NACE will continue working with Members of Congress as they consider legislation addressing job training and creation, especially with respect to our nation’s veterans. We will inform lawmakers about the advantages of emphasizing qualified professionals in the design, construction, and maintenance of public infrastructure projects. Additionally, we will educate policymakers on the benefits of providing incentives to private sector businesses who hire qualified corrosion personnel.
Combined, these policies not only promote job creation and strengthen our economy, but they also extend the useful life of assets, protect the environment and public safety, and reduce the cost to the federal government.
Background: America has some of the world’s most recognizable monuments and historic works. Our monuments, memorials, parks, and museums tell the American story and embody the essence of American pride and the American dream. They honor the sacrifice and virtues of the citizens and ideas that helped mold our nation. To honor and maintain these important works for future generations, Congress must invest in programs that ensure preservation and longevity.
Our Principles: NACE Members are committed to working with Congress, the National Parks Service, and curators across the country to develop programs to preserve these national treasures. Our members have the expertise, experience, and knowledge to work with policy makers and curators to ensure that monuments and historic works are protected from corrosion and that their beauty and meaning is retained.
Background: America’s tax system is outdated and needs repair. It’s time for Members of Congress in both political parties to work together and enact a tax code that broadens the tax base, strengthens our economy, and promotes U.S. competitiveness throughout the world. Reforming the tax code will provide certainty and clarity for the future. It will allow businesses to make decisions on future investments and expansion. When Congress convenes, Members should begin efforts to reform our outdated tax code. Comprehensive, common-sense reform will bolster the growing U.S. economy by promoting opportunities for industry growth and competitiveness and spurring job creation. Additionally, tax reform can incentivize industries to reinvest in protecting critical assets and developing new technologies for the future.
Our Principles: NACE will work with Members of Congress to enact policies that incentivize corrosion control plans and the use of qualified professionals in the design, construction, and maintenance of projects in various areas, including the energy sector. By emphasizing the need for corrosion control planning and qualified personnel, we will improve the life and efficiency of valuable assets, increase public safety, protect the environment, and save the federal government billions of dollars each year.
Background: With the passage of the FAST Act, Congress authorized funding for the nation’s infrastructure for the next 5 years. The FAST Act is the first comprehensive highway bill since 2005. While the law will make many improvements to our transportation systems and give stakeholders certainty, we believe that more can be done to prevent corrosion on America’s bridges.
According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), corrosion directly costs highway bridges over $8 billion annually. Additionally, approximately 15% of bridges are “structurally deficient because of corroded steel and steel reinforcement.” As Congress and policy makers continue to make improvements to the FAST Act and pursue other transportation-related issues, NACE will work with congressional leaders, federal agencies, and additional stakeholders to improve the integrity of national infrastructure.
Our Principles: NACE Members believe that all existing structures and future infrastructure projects should be protected from the devastating effects of corrosion. We don’t debate which projects should be funded by the federal government; rather, we believe if you build it, you have the responsibility to protect the asset and be a steward of taxpayer money. Over the past few years, we’ve seen first-hand what can happen when assets aren’t protected from corrosion – public safety is at higher risk, the environment is often damaged, and the federal government spends additional billions of dollars to correct a problem that could have been prevented in the beginning.
NACE Members have the skills and technology to preserve and protect America’s critical infrastructure, and we will continue working with policy makers to pursue common-sense solutions that protect our nation’s transportation system from corrosion. It is essential that corrosion is properly addressed in federal bridge projects. We will work to ensure that policy makers emphasize the need for proper corrosion control plans – including cathodic protection systems, coatings, and materials selection – and the need for qualified personnel.
Background: America’s veterans have made the greatest sacrifice on behalf of our nation. They protect and advance the notion of freedom throughout the world. We owe them our gratitude, support, and heartfelt appreciation. Unfortunately, too many veterans are unable to find long-term employment in today’s economy. While the unemployment rate for veterans is decreasing, it remains too high. In 2014, the unemployment rate for our nation’s younger veterans fluctuated between 5 and 9 percent. The unemployment rate in November of 2014 for all veterans was 4.5%.We must continue to make improvements and invest in those who have invested in us.
Our Principles: Our brothers and sisters who sacrificed so much for us deserve access to the best opportunities available. America’s veterans have unique skills which can be beneficial in all sectors, including the corrosion industry. Congress should adopt policies to ensure all veterans have access to good-paying jobs and the best training possible. NACE offers programs to help returning veterans and their families with job training and placement assistance within the corrosion industry. We continue to cultivate this program and will work with lawmakers and the DoD to ensure that veterans have access to the our industry’s job opportunities and job training programs. Additionally, we will work with other technical associations to ensure that veterans have increased opportunity to job training programs.
Background: The majority of America’s water infrastructure is approaching the end of its useful life. In the United States, there are more than 155,000 public water systems, and, by 2020, nearly half of these systems will be in poor condition or have exceeded their designed life span. It’s time for policy makers to reinvest in water infrastructure and protect our most precious resource. States, such as California, have already seen devastating effects and the need for better water infrastructure.
The average age of water and wastewater systems is 41 years, with some systems being built around the time of the Civil War. Our infrastructure is beginning to fail, and millions of Americans are starting to suffer the consequences. The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that there are 240,000 water main breaks each year in the United States. According to a New York Times article in 2010, “A significant water line bursts on average every two minutes somewhere in the country. Additionally, the American Water Works Association estimates that the U.S. Government will need to spend almost $1 trillion over the next 25 years to maintain current levels of water service.
These reports capture the problems and challenges we face; however, investing billions of dollars into updating infrastructure is only part of the solution. Any investment into infrastructure should emphasize corrosion planning. The FHWA estimates that corrosion costs the water industry more than $36 billion a year – roughly $50 billion in 2015.
Our Principles: By implementing a corrosion plan before beginning construction on infrastructure projects, we improve public safety, save billions of dollars in damage, and protect the environment from the harmful effects of corrosion. Corrosion control measures can extend the life of aging infrastructure and new construction, and we believe that all federally funded projects should have a corrosion control plan and emphasize the use of qualified professionals to ensure corrosion control technology is properly installed and maintained. These measures will result in a longer, safer useful life of an asset, such as water infrastructure which is highly susceptible to corrosion.
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