Planning with Pipelines: PIPA Land-Use Practices

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The Pipeline and Informed Planning Alliance (PIPA) initiative was started in the spring of 2008 to focus on issues relating to the impact of land-use and development around existing transmission pipelines. Stakeholders from all levels of government joined with representatives of the pipeline and building industries to discuss how the protection of pipelines should be addressed when considering or planning for development near pipeline rights-of-way. This resulted in a comprehensive guide of best practices relating to activities that should be taken to protect communities while also seeking to protect the integrity of pipelines. Examples of these recommended practices are referenced on page 4 and 5 of this newsletter.

The population of the United States will increase to nearly 425 million people by 2060 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This projected growth equals the population growth of the country for its first 200 year history dating from the late 1700’s to the turn of the century. As a result, community planning has become even more essential as rural areas are developed to support the needs of growing communities.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is in the process of hosting a series of webinars for local and state
government on the various components of PIPA with the hope of encouraging the adoption of awareness activities and practices during the community planning process. PHMSA’s initial presentations have focused on states where recent shale development has resulted in increased oil and gas production—Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Dakota. The two hour presentations covers information about pipelines, including: where they are located, their related facilities and operator information. For more information on a schedule of webinars, please visit https://primis.phmsa.dot.gov/meetings/Home.mtg.

In addition to hosting the on-line seminars, PHMSA has developed a library of resource material that can be used by those impacted by
transmission pipelines. These include government officials, property owners and developers, pipeline operators and real estate commissions. Specific guidelines and examples of risk informed practices, in addition to a recommended land-use development checklist, can be found on the PIPA website at www.pipa-info.com. PHMSA is also expected to release a new guide for hazard mitigation managers in late 2013.

PHMSA also makes Technical Assistance Grants (TAG) available to communities or impacted stakeholders. The grants are offered to communities seeking engineering or other scientific analysis of issues relating to pipeline infrastructure. Governmental entities or non-profit
groups may qualify for a grant of up to $50,000 per year.

For more information, or to apply for a grant, please contact Christie Murray at Christie.murray@dot.gov.