Vandalism & Pipelines

In communities across the country, law enforcement agencies are actively partnering with pipeline operators to protect community safety during protest demonstrations and to prevent vandalism to local pipeline infrastructure.

Over the past year, anti-pipeline activists, prompted by permitting decisions for new pipeline projects, organized protests and attempts to intentionally damage pipeline facilities.

Coordinated vandalism targeting pipeline infrastructure in four states prompted federal regulators to issue a bulletin in 2016 warning communities that damage to piping and aboveground
system assets can have significant community safety consequences. Under federal law, individuals who damage pipeline facilities in the United States can face large fines and up to 20 years in prison. Unfortunately, attempts to damage pipelines continue. Authorities in South Dakota and Iowa confirmed that earlier this year, protesters seriously damaged sections of newly constructed pipelines.

In response to these threats, pipeline operators have increased efforts to monitor and protect pipeline infrastructure through their security and surveillance programs. They also rely on the support of local public officials and law enforcement to protect facilities from vandalism.