Promoting Pipeline Safety in Schools

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

Schools harbor one of the most precious resources found anywhere − children. As they grow and blossom into the curious, information‐absorbing creatures who will become our future, children spend a majority of each day at school.

Schools take extraordinary steps to protect the health and safety of their students. Teachers monitor their every action. Visitors are escorted, IDs are checked and fire drills are practiced. Many school systems develop safety plans that require extensive training in crisis preparation. Often this involves interagency and multi ‐stakeholder participation.

The Pipeline Association for Public Awareness and the Danielle Dawn Smalley Foundation are two such groups that have joined forces to promote another school safety issue – pipeline awareness. The School Pipeline Safety Partnership is dedicated to helping school officials learn about pipeline infrastructure located near their facility by providing key safety information.

The school program was conceived because pipeline operators located in high consequence areas (HCAs) are required to take additional steps to ensure the safety and integrity of their systems. HCAs are considered to be more sensitive to a pipeline release or emergency. One of the ways operators can help ensure the safety of their system and the community is through increased awareness of pipeline facilities. The Partnership’s main goal is the communication of pipeline safety messages.

Through the program, schools are provided information to assist them with developing emergency response plans in the event of a pipeline incident, in particular a pipeline‐specific evacuation plan. Maps that show the location of the pipeline in relation to the school or its facilities, as well as contact information for the pipeline operator are given to school personnel. Informational resources, including how to recognize and respond to a pipeline‐related incident and how to locate a pipeline right‐of‐way, are also made available.

When possible, meetings are held between representatives of the school, the Partnership and pipeline operators to increase the level of familiarity and knowledge of the pipelines in the area. The meetings and the materials provided help develop relationships between the operators and school officials with the hope of encouraging ongoing communications.

To learn more about the School Pipeline Safety Partnership, or to request materials for schools in your area, contact the Smalley Foundation on at (972) 472‐6500.