According to the National Transportation Safety Board, natural gas pipelines are the safest and most cost-efficient mode of energy transportation today – surpassing highway, railroad, airborne or waterborne transport.
Meeting Or Exceeding Industry & Regulatory Safety Standards
Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline project has committed to adopting design features and operating practices that will meet or exceed already stringent industry and regulatory safety standards. Some of the measures would include:
- Remote controlled shut off valves that are continuously monitored utilizing latest proven technologies and communication systems
- On-going inspections of the pipeline both internally and externally to maintain the integrity of the PCGP system
- Non-destructive examination of all welds during construction to assure the integrity of the system
- Use of high strength steels for the construction of the pipeline and station for added safety
Safety Doesn’t Happen By Accident
Pipelines like Pacific Connector are regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), which imposes a broad range of construction and operations standards. These standards, which must be met before a pipeline can be placed into service, include:
- When the pipe is fabricated, PCGP representatives will carefully inspect the pipe at the mill to ensure that quality meets or exceeds both federal and industry-wide standards before it gets shipped to site.
- Application of protective coatings and other techniques are used to help prevent corrosion of the pipeline and facilities.
- During construction, pipeline representatives carefully inspect the construction of the pipeline and stations to assure they are constructed to the highest quality.
- Fully inspect the welds linking the joints of the pipeline to assure their integrity.
- Once the pipeline is in the ground but before it is placed into service, it is pressure-tested to verify that it can withstand pressure much higher than it will experience during its operation
- Shortly after construction, PCGP will install a cathodic protection system, which, along with the pipe’s protective coating, is designed to prevent both internal and external corrosion.
- In accordance with federal law, aboveground pipeline markers are used to alert the public to the presence of one or more pipelines within an easement. These markers, which contain the name of the pipeline operator and emergency contact information, will be located in highly visible locations such as next to road and rail road crossings, at fence lines, and at the banks of water crossings.
- Additionally, in areas where there is a long distance between those crossings, PCGP will place intermittent pipeline markers so the public has access to that critical contact information throughout the pipelines path.
- To help protect against third-party damage, PCGP will regularly inspect the entire pipeline by foot, motorized vehicle, or aerial patrol aircraft to monitor the pipeline routes and adjacent areas for encroachment on the route.
- Pipelines undergo maintenance inspections to assure the continued integrity of the system. These inspections include annual valve and safety device inspections as well as scheduled internal pipeline inspections.
- The pipeline is inspected internally by utilizing computerized inspection device known as an in-line inspection tool or “ILI” tool. These tools, also called “smart pigs”, are utilized to examine the pipe’s condition both internally and externally so that preemptive maintenance can be performed to maintain the integrity of the pipeline.
- Local PCGP representatives will meet with local emergency response officials, excavation contractors, landowners and local community leaders to educate them about pipeline operation and emergency response procedures.
- Safety information regarding our operations is distributed annually to landowners, residents and businesses located near our facilities.
- The pipeline will be continuously monitored at our Gas Control center.
- The pipeline will become part of the Oregon 811 and nationwide One-Call system.
One of the greatest challenges to safe pipeline operations is the accidental damage caused by third parties. Local One-Call centers provide a free service to anyone planning excavation, construction or blasting activities. After a center receives a call, owners and operators of the underground utilities in the area of the planned work are notified.
PCGP representatives will visit the proposed work site and mark the location of our facilities to reduce the risk of damage. To contact the One-Call center nearest you, dial 811.