The INGAA Foundation’s board of directors elected Thomas D. Hutchins, vice president of environmental, health and safety (EH&S) for the natural gas business of Kinder Morgan Inc., as its new chairman for a one-year term beginning Nov. 5.
“Tom has extensive expertise in pipeline operation and environmental, health and safety. This experience and insight make him ideally suited to take the reins as chairman of the INGAA Foundation for the coming year,” said Don Santa, INGAA Foundation president.
The INGAA Foundation brings together pipeline operators and contractors—including construction companies, pipe mills, engineering companies, consultants, environmental and safety groups and others—to facilitate the efficient construction and safe and reliable operation of the North American natural gas pipeline system.
“I am humbled and at the same time excited about the opportunity to lead the INGAA Foundation,” Hutchins said. “As an industry, we are facing significant challenges that must be effectively addressed. My goals for the coming year will include building on our already strong safety and quality culture and engaging all of the Foundation members to not only address, but also prevail in overcoming the challenges our industry is facing. The Foundation’s membership has continued to grow because of the value seen by engaging the entirety of the natural gas transmission and storage value chain. Utilizing the multi-faceted resources possessed by the membership of the Foundation will be critical to our success. It is imperative that the equipment, materials and services provided to and by the pipeline industry are of the highest quality to deliver natural gas to the end user in a safe and reliable manner that protects the environment.”
He graduated from New Mexico State University with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, and he later received a Master of Business Administration. Hutchins started his career as a field engineer, building pipelines and compressor stations for El Paso Natural Gas, one of Kinder Morgan’s interstate pipeline systems. Hutchins also has worked as a project engineer and project manager for the International Boundary & Water Commission, an agency of the U.S. State Department. As the industry diversified, he led EH&S organizations supporting chemical plants, refineries, power plants and coal mines.
Hutchins has been active in the industry, serving in leadership positions with the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America’s EH&S Committee, Southern Gas Association’s Environmental Committee and American Gas Association’s Safety & Health Committee, Environmental Matters Committee and Environmental Regulatory Action Committee. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in Texas.
The INGAA Foundation’s board elected Mark Hereth, a principal with Process Performance Improvement Consultant, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Blacksmith Group, as vice chairman.
The INGAA Foundation was formed in 1990 by the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) to advance the use of natural gas and ensure the reliability and safety of natural gas pipelines for the benefit of the environment and the consuming public. The Foundation’s completes a number of reports and studies each year and establishes safety guidelines for pipeline construction, operation and employee safety. For more information, visit ingaa.org/foundation.