Public Officials Pipeline Safety Newsletter
Dispatchers play critical role
On the morning of November 1, 2007, a pipeline near the town of Carmichael, Mississippi split open, releasing liquid propane that quickly turned to vapor. Residents in the area called 911 to report the event. The dispatch center told callers they would send help. However, shortly after the first call was received the vapor cloud ignited, resulting in a large explosion, ultimately killing two people, injuring seven others and destroying four homes. Read more.
What is the purpose of pipelines in Your community?
Do you know if pipelines are in your community? There is an excellent chance the answer is yes. The U.S. pipeline infrastructure stretches more than 2.2 million miles across the country. In comparison, the national highway system is comprised of only 160,000 miles of roadway, or thirteen times less than the total pipeline mileage. Both of these systems are critical in terms of the country’s national defense and economic viability, in that they provide the means for the transportation of people, products and services. Read more.
do you know how to locate pipelines in your community?
There are visible markers that indicate the presence of a pipeline in your area and there are resources that can be accessed to obtain confirmation of such markers. These markers and a clear, wide green-space, free of trees and brush, that extends as far as you can see in either direction are the two most obvious indicators of an underground facility. At one time, these signs and the use of the local One-Call center were the only means by which to identify pipelines in a community. Read more.
Environmental stewardship is a topic on everyone’s mind. Enthusiasm for “going green” is cropping up in all aspects of everyday life, ranging from television commercials to supermarket product labels. We are more likely to be concerned these days with how much energy a product uses or whether the method by which it is manufactured is efficient with regard to its environmental impact. The same can be said for pipeline operators seeking to proactively monitor and control their environmental footprint. Read more.
new regulations for gas distribution companies
If your city or community is responsible for supplying natural gas to your area residents, this local distribution system is now subject to new regulations. As of February 12, 2010, local distribution operators are required to establish a Distribution Integrity Management Program (DIMP). Local distribution companies have until August 2, 2011 to write and implement their program. Read more.
Promoting Damage Prevention
One of the greatest risks to pipelines remains the people who dig where a facility is located. Accidents that result from such activity are preventable by being aware of your surroundings and by simply following a few basic steps. Preventing damage to pipelines and other underground facilities is a joint responsibility. Following are some things you can do to help. Read more
education of 8-1-1 is key
Stories of hunting for buried treasure can capture the imagination of children and adults alike. A new video has been developed for school-aged children that combines themes of hidden treasure and pirates who carry the message that you should call before you dig. The pipeline industry is hoping that in the future this message will be as familiar to children as Smokey the Bear’s well-known message regarding the prevention of forest fires. Read more.
Prevention measures taken
There are many similarities between a pipeline operator and a homeowner. Protecting the value and integrity of a pipeline for an operator is just like protecting the value of a home for its owner. Over time, both parties will invest a substantial amount of time, money and energy in order to safeguard their property from outside forces and the elements. Read more
Why are they asking about “Identified sites”?
Every now and then pipeline companies will send letters to emergency officials asking for information about “Identified Sites”. Why are they doing this? The answer is somewhat complicated, but it has to do with managing the integrity of the pipelines. Read more.
Commodities transported and hazards posed
The chart below highlights the purpose, characteristics and the particular potential hazard(s) posed by products transported via pipeline. These products, along with several other materials, can pose a variety of hazards to the environment, as well as to your health, if improperly released. Read more.