Integrity / Accountability / Responsibility

Pipeline Safety

Pipeline Purpose and Reliability

The US’s extensive pipeline network, mostly buried underground, is used every day to transport crude oil, natural gas, natural gas liquids and water to homes, businesses and industrial facilities. These pipelines play an important role in our economy and our quality of life. According to National Transportation Safety Board statistics, pipelines are considered one of the safest and most economical methods of transporting these products.

Our Commitment to Safety

Republic Development Partners is committed to the safe and reliable operation of its pipelines. We monitor the operations of our pipelines which are designed, installed, tested, operated and maintained in accordance with all applicable federal and state requirements. We maintain our safety record through routine inspections, corrosion protection, maintenance and testing programs, employee training and public education. Public education includes educational outreach with excavating contractors, emergency response officials, appropriate public officials, and the affected public.

Even though pipelines are one of the safest ways to transport natural gas and other liquids, these products are flammable and potentially hazardous. Consider all pipeline leaks potentially dangerous. Some of our pipelines may be near you. Please become familiar with their locations. This will help keep you, your family and others safe.

In the rare event you do experience a pipeline emergency, immediately go to a safe location. Call 911, and then call Republic Development Partners using the phone number on the marker or the appropriate Emergency Contact Number.

Any dent, scrape, crease or other damage to a pipeline can be dangerous. Even a scrape that seems insignificant can cause a leak or crack in the line. If you cause or discover any damage to our pipeline, please call the appropriate Emergency Contact Number.

Locating and Identifying Pipelines

Since most of our pipelines are buried underground, pipeline markers are used to indicate approximate location along the route. These markers can be found where a pipeline intersects a street, highway, railway or waterway. Markers do not indicate the exact position of the pipeline.

The markers display the material transported in the line, the name of the pipeline operator, and a telephone number where the operator can be reached in the event of an emergency.

Pipeline rights of way must be kept free from structures and other obstructions to provide access to the pipeline for maintenance and in the event of an emergency. If a pipeline crosses your property, please do not plant trees or high shrubs on the right of way. Do not dig, build, store or place anything on or near the rights of way without first having the pipeline marked and the rights of way staked. Have this done free of charge by calling 811 and providing the required notice prior to beginning of any project.

Additionally, if you witness suspicious activity on a pipeline right of way, please report it to the authorities, or you can call the appropriate Emergency Contact Number.

Recognizing a Leak

Any pipeline leak can be potentially dangerous. Leaks can be detected visually, through sound or by smell.

  • Look – Persistent bubbling in standing water or discolored vegetation can indicate a possible leak. A pool of liquid on the ground; a dense white cloud or fog; a slight mist of ice; or unexplained frozen ground near the pipeline can indicate a possible leak.
  • Listen – An unusual noise like a hissing or roaring sound can indicate a possible leak.
  • Smell – Strange or unusual odors (the products may have a petroleum odor or smell like rotten eggs) can indicate a possible leak.

Provided that some gases are odorless, it is important to use your ears and eyes to recognize a potential problem.

Emergency Procedures

Step 1: Leave immediately on foot. Do not use electric switches, telephones (including cell phones) or anything that could cause a spark. Abandon any power equipment being used in or near the area without turning it off. Move in a crosswind direction away from the leak or vapor cloud.

Step 2: Go directly to a safe location. Call 911, and then call Republic Development Partners at the appropriate Emergency Contact Number.

Step 3: Warn others to stay away from the leak.

Call Before you Dig

One of the most common causes of pipeline damage and dangerous situations involving pipelines is excavation. Digging, drilling, tilling and other forms of excavation by construction crews, farmers, drillers and even homeowners planting trees can damage pipes and put the people involved and others at risk. Anyone planning excavation or digging must call 811 and provide the required notice prior to beginning their project.

Dial 811 prior to digging, and your call will be routed to your local One Call Center. Tell the operator where you are planning to dig, what type of work you will be doing and your affected local utility companies will be notified about your intent to dig. In a few days, the utilities will send a locator to mark the approximate location of your underground lines, pipes and cables, so you will know what is below and where you can dig safely. Pipelines are marked with yellow flags or paint. These marks tell you the location of the line, not the depth. Always dig carefully around the marks made by utilities. Do not dig directly on the marks. Digging on the marks can cause you to hit a pipeline. Also, the line may not be exactly straight down from the mark. Take your time and dig to the side of the marks to avoid unintentional contact with a line.

Growing roots and erosion can cause pipelines to shift locations. With time, memory of pipeline locations can also fade. Never assume you know where the line is, even if you called for your last project.

If you are excavating and come in contact with one of our pipelines, call Republic Development Partners at the appropriate Emergency Contact Number immediately. A nick or dent you think is of no consequence can cause big problems in time.

Remember the following:

  • Call 811 and tell them where you plan to dig. In some states you can notify 811 online.
  • Give the notice required by your state. Most (but not all) states require two working days. Check the requirements for your state.
  • Utility companies will mark the location of underground utility lines.
  • Respect the utility markers (see chart below) and dig carefully.

You are responsible for marking your private lines such as invisible pet fences, sprinkler systems, yard lights and gas grill lines.

Pipeline Integrity

Pipeline integrity management is a process for evaluating and reducing pipeline risks. The Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002 required the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA) to develop and issue regulations that address risk analysis and integrity management programs (IMP) for pipeline operators.

Accordingly, Republic Development Partners has implemented internal policies and procedures to achieve the requirements mandated by PHMSA, including the following

  • We utilize cleaning “pigs” to clean our pipelines in order to combat internal corrosion.
  • We use cathodic protection equipment to reduce external corrosion.
  • We employ pipeline markers, visual inspections and right-of-way clearing to help prevent third party damage.
  • We participate in the 811 before you dig program to help avoid accidents.

Republic Development Partners has a comprehensive Public Awareness Program and actively engage with the public, excavators, emergency responders and public officials located near our pipelines. Each year we mail information packets to people living near our pipelines. We also have safety meetings with excavation contractors, law enforcement and fire prevention officials.