Welcome Government & Emergency Officials

Pipelines are the safest and most reliable way to transport natural gas, crude oil, gasoline, propane, ethanol and other energy and chemical products.  However, if an emergency occurs near or involving a pipeline, it is critical that response agencies in your community know how to respond and are prepared to work together with pipeline operator representatives.  It is also important that local officials and pipeline operators work together to protect pipelines by promoting and enforcing safe excavation practices and state One-Call laws and by considering the location of existing pipelines during permitting and planning processes by following recommended PIPA guidelines.

Resources & Training Materials

NENA Pipeline Emergency Operations Standard/Model Recommendation Document 56-007

This standard is intended to aid Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) in the development and implementation of emergency communication protocols pertaining to pipeline emergencies. It addresses common situations involving pipelines carrying non-toxic natural gas and hazardous liquid petroleum products. The focus of this standard is on the first minute of the call intake process.

Download a PDF copy of the standard here.

Pipeline Emergency Response Guidelines

In the unlikely event of an emergency near or involving a pipeline, it is critical you know how to respond and are prepared to work together with the pipeline representative. PAPA’s Emergency Response Guidelines were created to provide a concise, yet complete, resource for reference prior to and  during a pipeline emergency.


Pipeline Emergency Response Videos
Use this series of Pipeline Emergency Response videos to supplement your knowledge about the pipelines in your community. Through the videos you’ll learn to recognize issues concerning public safety, hazards and risk communication. You’ll also learn about strategic considerations when responding to a pipeline release in your community. The video is divided into segments that focus on Community Awareness, Communication and Preparedness; Pipeline Integrity; Recognizing and Identifying Pipeline Releases; and Incident Response Guidelines.
Pipeline Emergency Response Training Tools and Scenarios

Access a library of training tools and interactive scenarios to apply your knowledge and solve problems. These training materials include: interactive training scenarios for various pipeline emergency situations, a downloadable presentation based on the Pipeline Emergency Response Guidelines booklet, instructors guide, and practice test.

Responding to Utility Emergencies– Online Course

Emergency responders are typically first on the scene when utilities are damaged. This web site is designed to help first responders recognize potential hazards involving natural gas and the necessary guidelines to assure their safety and that of the general public. Training involves tracks for both Fire/Rescue and Law Enforcement.

Pipeline Safety and Emergency Preparedness: Guidance on Regional Pipeline Operations and Developing a Hazard Annex Specific to Pipeline Incidents

This project examined how prepared the City and County of Denver Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security [OEMHS] is in the event of a pipeline incident, and produced several tools to aid preparedness efforts.  A PDF copy of the final report is available at the link above.  This file does not contain the Hazard Annex.

Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) Community Assistance & Technical Services

Contact the Community Assistance & Technical Services (CATS) program manager in your area to discuss zoning and permitting decisions for projects near pipelines or aboveground pipeline facilities.

Pipeline and Informed Planning Alliance (PIPA)

PIPA is an initiative of pipeline safety stakeholders, supported by the Pipeline & Hazardous Material Administration (PHMSA), to identify and recommend practices related to risk-informed planning for development around transmission pipelines.

Pipeline Awareness Newsletter

PAPA’s Pipeline Awareness Newsletter, released annually, provides articles to educate public officials about pipeline safety and awareness.
Click here
to read the articles online Click here to download a PDF version.

Evacuation Distance Guidelines for Natural Gas

This document provides information on the recommended evacuation distances for natural gas pipeline leaks and ruptures.

PHMSA’s Emergency Response Guidebook

The Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG), published by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), includes response tips and product-specific reference information and is designed for emergency responders who may be the first to arrive at a scene involving a hazardous material. In addition to the printed and .pdf versions, mobile versions are also available for Blackberry and iPhone users.

Click here to download a PDF version in English, Spanish or French.
Click here to download Microsoft Excel data format.
Click here to download the ERG for Window Mobile devices.
Click here to purchase the ERG for iPhone, iPad and iPod devices.


National Pipeline Mapping System

Access transmission pipeline maps and emergency contact information and download maps to include in your mapping programs. This tool is provided and maintained by the Department of Transportation.  View a tutorial created by Paradigm with information about how to use NPMS.

NASFM’s Pipeline Safety Programs

The National Association of State Fire Marshal’s (NASFM) offers a comprehensive, integrated emergency response training program designed to teach emergency responders and pipeline industry personnel to safely respond, and effectively manage, pipeline incidents. The training program, called Pipeline Emergencies, is intended to produce significant safety results in terms of industry, public safety and improved emergency response tactics. Learn more about Pipeline Emergencies. Learn more about the National Association of State Fire Marshal’s Safe Energy and Transportation program.

Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders (WISER)

WISER provides a wide range of information on hazardous substances, including substance identification support, physical characteristics, human health information and containment and suppression advice.

Identified Site Emergency Planning Application

The “Identified Site Emergency Planning Application” (ISEPA) provides emergency response agencies detailed information about pipelines in their jurisdiction including an initial evacuation distance from the line during and emergency. The application also includes a mechanism for agencies to collaborate with pipeline operators by submitting information regarding populated areas (identified sites) near these pipelines.

NFPA 329: Recommended Practice for Handling Releases of Flammable and Combustible Liquids and Gases

This recommended practice details the appropriate methods for responding to fire, explosion, and human health hazards resulting from the release of a flammable, combustible, or otherwise hazardous liquid, gas, or vapor that may migrate to a subsurface structure.

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

PHMSA and FEMA released Hazard Mitigation Planning: Practices for Land Use Planning and Development near Pipelines.  This guidance document outlines best practices for communities to reduce risks from pipeline incidents, including those caused by natural hazards. It was prepared by PHMSA’s Pipelines and Informed Planning Alliance (PIPA) Communications Team and is sponsored by PHMSA in coordination with FEMA as a primer for incorporating pipeline hazards into hazard mitigation plans.

Guide for Communicating Emergency Response Information for Natural Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines

The Transportation Research Board’s Hazardous Materials Cooperative Research Program (HMCRP) recently released Report 14: Guide for Communicating Emergency Response Information for Natural Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines. This report provides guidance on responding to a pipeline emergency.