For the most part the regulatory authority for the siting and safety of pipelines falls upon the federal government, and to a lesser extent state government. Yet local government has to respond to pipeline emergencies, and local government is where citizens often turn for answers to pipeline questions. One area where local government does play an important role in pipeline safety is through zoning and land use rule making. Transmission pipelines were once built mainly in rural areas, but as our cities and towns expand outward new businesses and housing developments are encroaching on pipeline right-of-ways. Often entities such as local school boards or hospitals have little or no knowledge of pipelines, so it is important that local communities think about the siting of such structures near pipelines. Below are some strategies that communities are starting to embrace, along with links of where to get more information.
|Improved Planning Near Pipelines
One way that many communities have started to protect both their citizens and the pipelines is by passing ordinances that address land use issues near pipelines. The Washington Municipal Research and Services Center has a webite about planning near pipelines that can be accessed here. One of the easiest ways to increase safety is through the use of Consultation Zones. To download a proposed ordinance that implements Consultation Zones click here. Some communities have instituted setbacks from pipelines. To review some sample and actual setback ordinances click here.
Emergency Responder Training
National Pipeline Mapping System
The nominal accuracy of geospatial data in the NPMS is +/-500 feet. Therefore, the NPMS should never be used as a substitute for contacting a one-call center before excavating.
Remember to call be for you dig by dialing 811! To find a pipeline in your area visit the National Pipeline Mapping System click here. https://www.npms.phmsa.dot.gov/
|Creating a Pipeline Safety Advisory Committee
One great asset to a state is the creation of a citizens committee on Pipeline Safety. In 2000, the Washington State Governor and the State Legislature established, in state law, the Citizens Committee on Pipeline Safety (CCOP). CCOP has been established to advise the state agencies and other appropriate federal and local government agencies and officials on matters relating to hazardous liquid and gas pipeline safety, routing, construction, operation, and maintenance.” The committee consists of nine voting members representing the public, including local government, and elected officials. Four non-voting members represent owners and operators of hazardous liquid and gas pipelines.More information on the Citizens Committee on Pipeline Safety Please check out the following information.Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 81.88.140
The Washington State Citizens Committee on Pipeline Safety http://www.governor.wa.gov/boards/profiles/1000336.asp
Washington Utilities and Trade Commission
National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC)
Contact information for the Staff Subcommittee on Pipeline Safety
Community Assistance and Technical Services (CATS)
The mission of the OPS CATS is to advance public safety, environmental protection and pipeline reliability by facilitating clear communications among all pipeline stakeholders, including the public, the operators and government officials.
Pipeline Studies and Special Reports