2016 Public Official Newsletter

How Pipelines Serve Our Communities

“The invisible highway” refers to America’s network of more than 2.6 million miles of pipelines. in addition to being the safest and most efficient way of transporting energy resources, the use of pipeline infrastructure results in less pollution, road congestion and damage to roads. Read More

Pipelines Deliver Products That…

    • Heat homes
    • Dry agricultural crops
    • Supply power generation facilities
    • Are ingredients in plastics and pharmaceuticals
    • Support military exercises and initiatives
    • Fuel planes, cars and truck transportation

Types of Pipelines

♦ Distribution pipelines deliver natural gas to manufacturing, commercial and residential customers to produce electricity, provide heat, cook food and help maintain comfort in our lives.

♦ Transmission pipelines* carry larger quantities of energy resources, such as oil and natural gas, longer distances, as these resources are not always produced near where they are refined or consumed.

♦ Gathering pipelines collect oil and natural gas from production areas. These pipelines are generally located in rural areas.

* The general location of all transmission pipelines can be viewed in the National Pipeline Mapping System at www.npms.phmsa.dot.gov

Pipeline Markers

Pipelines are buried in an area called a “right of way.” Pipeline markers are used to designate the general route of a pipeline. In addition, markers are found where a pipeline crosses a street, railroad or waterway, as well as areas where a pipeline emerges from the ground. Read More

Pipeline Safety & Right of Way Protection

A right of way (ROW) is secured from a landowner, utility or other government entity through an “easement agreement,” which provides the right to cross or otherwise use someone else’s land for a specified purpose. This agreement governs the activities permitted by both the landowner and the pipeline operator. Read More

Examples of ROW Encroachment Include:

    • Building fences or other structures such as sheds or barns – either permanent or temporary
    • Pouring a driveway
    • Adding a swimming pool or sprinkler system
    • Storage of vehicles and flammable materials or equipment
    • Major landscaping activities: adding trees and shrubs, planting a garden and removing tree stumps

These activities normally require the consent of the pipeline company to help protect the integrity of the pipeline and the safety of the surrounding community.

As a public official…

You may be involved with general planning, zoning and land-use decisions that impact pipeline ROWs. Educated decisions and proper planning ensure the safe, efficient and reliable delivery of energy resources and other utility services to your residents, businesses and communities.

Always contact 811 before you dig. Dial 811 or visit www.call811.com

What is PIPA?

The Pipelines and Informed Planning Alliance (PIPA) is a collaborative effort of pipeline safety stakeholders. Reducing risk and improving community and pipeline safety can be challenging. It is important to know the risks that transmission pipelines can present to a community and the increasing risks that can be presented by changes in land use and development near those pipelines. PIPA has recommended practices to help communities make risk-informed decisions for land use planning and development adjacent to transmission pipelines.

For more information regarding PIPA Recommended Practices visit: http://www.PIPA-info.com, or email info@PIPA-info.com.

The Role of Local Government in Pipeline Safety

Local governments have a key role in ensuring safety and the protection of people, property and the environment. PIPA Recommended Practices can enhance safety by guiding and promoting more effective stakeholder communications when planning land use changes and development occurs near existing transmission pipelines. Communities across the country have begun to adopt many of the PIPA Recommended Practices.

Hazard Mitigation Planning: Practices for Land Use Planning and Development near Pipelines…

Is a primer for incorporating pipeline hazards into hazard mitigation plans. The document’s goal is to provide emergency managers, planners and others involved with developing hazard mitigation plans with a knowledge and understanding of how pipelines operate, common products that may be transported through transmission and distribution pipeline systems, the potential impacts (risks) of pipeline incidents and mitigation strategies they can implement to reduce these risks. Read More

NPMS Improvements

For Federal, State and Local Government Officials & Emergency Responders

The National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS) recently made improvements to the Pipeline Information Management and Mapping Application (PIMMA) to assist government officials and emergency responders. PIMMA is the password-protected web-based mapping application accessible from the “Government Official” portion of the NPMS website: www.npms.phmsa.dot.gov. Read More

New Federal Regulations for State Damage Prevention Programs and Excavators

Excavation damage is the leading cause of natural gas and hazardous liquid pipeline incidents. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued new regulations for both state damage prevention programs (part 198) and for excavators (part 196). Read More

Safety Information for Public Officials

    • Natural Gas
    • Petroleum Gas
    • Anhydrous Ammonia
    • Carbon Dioxide
    • Ethanol
    • Hydrogen Gas
    • “Sour” Crude Oil and “Sour” Gas

Read More for Details

Farming and Pipelines

What Public Officials Need to Know

Excavation is the leading cause of damage to pipelines and other underground facilities. Farmers, ranchers and landowners are key ‘digging’ audiences who need to be kept aware of safe digging practices and understand the importance of pipeline right of ways/easements. Hitting a pipeline not only affects the safety of the farmer, but can also potentially impact neighboring communities through the loss of fuel, heat and other utilities. Read More

Pipeline Considerations for Public Officials:

  • Know where pipelines are located in your community:
    • • Meet with pipeline companies operating in your area and collect their contact information
    • • Respect pipeline easements
    • • Require that applications for building projects include an 811 ticket number prior to issuing a permit

    Read More

Resources – Digging Deeper for More Information

*NPMS only maps transmission pipelines https://www.npms.phmsa.dot.gov

Excavation Activities That Pose a Risk to Pipelines:

    • Building a waterway, creek maintenance or digging a pond or well
    • Clearing land
    • Ditching
    • Installing drain tile
    • Land contouring
    • Leveling
    • Plowing (chisel plowing or deep plowing)
    • Ripping (deep ripping)
    • Roads, walking paths & other transportation related development
    • Scraping
    • Soil sampling
    • Sub-soiling
    • Terracing
    • Tilling (deep tilling)
    • Trenching
    • Using backhoes or bulldozers

Call, Click or Connect…

811 Keeps Communities Safe

Public officials play an essential role in ensuring the safety of their communities. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation, recognizes public officials as key stakeholders in safety — as a result, all pipeline operators with pipelines running through your municipality are required to share with you critical information on pipeline safety. Read More

As a Public Official, You Can Help Ensure Safety By:

  • Encouraging all local public utilities to register their facilities with your state’s one call center
  • Actively promoting safe excavation practices, including the importance of calling 811 (your state’s one call center) or submitting an online request to have utilities marked before starting excavation within your community
  • During the designing or permitting/planning processes, require that the local one call center be contacted so the location of all underground pipelines can be considered

Emergency Preparedness

Does Your Plan Address Pipelines?

Emergency response planning is an important responsibility at all levels of government. Public officials plan for many different types of events that could affect the safety of their communities. Local utilities and other critical infrastructure should be addressed in emergency planning efforts so that your community has a comprehensive plan in place for local emergency response needs. Read More


  • Pipeline operators, emergency responders and 911 center personnel should all be involved. Have all of these entities officially met and exchanged information?
  • Is there more than one 911 communication center for your community? If so, is a representative from each center involved? Read More

10 Things You Can Do to Improve Pipeline Safety

  1. Become a member of your local one call system – visit www.call811.com to learn more
  2. Require notification to the one call center in the permitting process – excavators and construction companies should include their one call ticket number on any building or construction permit issued
  3. Ensure employees are contacting 811 to have utility lines (including pipelines) marked before they dig

Read More

An Ounce of Prevention

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” states Benjamin Franklin’s age-old truism. This applies to many different facets of life, including pipeline operators, who are committed to protecting their pipelines, just as we maintain our homes, vehicles and other important assets to safeguard our investments. Read More

Additional Information:

Company Contacts in Your Area

If you received this newsletter with a cover letter, the participating member companies in your area are listed on the back of the letter. A non-emergency phone number is included for each company. Read More

Pipeline Awareness Resources:


PHMSA resources for pipeline safety stakeholders include:

If you have questions about the Pipeline Association for Public Awareness (PAPA), our programs or need more information from any of our members, please email: jeff.farrells@pipelineawareness.info

16361 Table Mountain Parkway
Golden, CO 80403


Pipeline Integrity Management Plans

Member companies will provide additional information about their integrity management program upon request. This information may be posted on their website, or it may be obtained through the company contact person listed in the Pipeline Member Directory.

Copies of Materials Provided to the General Public or Emergency Response Officials

Pipeline members will send you copies of the materials they provide to the general public or emergency officials in your area. Just email your request to the company contact person listed in the Pipeline Member Directory.