There are many critical reasons to maintain the integrity of a pipeline. We want to make sure we’re always protecting the public, employees, property and the environment. Pipeline integrity management also plays an important role in preventing interruption to your energy service and to maintaining our system integrity and preserving our investments.
As part of the plan, we assess the pipeline’s integrity when it’s installed. After that, we’ll keep checking the pipeline’s integrity through continuous inspections and testing. And we also check the pipeline’s historical data.
We might also
- Do a risk analysis on a pipeline to see if there’s anything else we should do increase public safety and to protect what’s called a “high consequence area.”*
- Install automatic shut-off valves or remote control valves.
- Install computerized monitoring and leak-detection systems.
- Replace certain segments with pipe made of heavier wall thickness.
- Provide additional training to personnel about response procedures.
- Conduct drills with local emergency responders and implement additional inspection and maintenance programs.
*High consequence area means
- The area within a potential impact circle** that has 20 or more buildings intended for human occupancy.
- The area within a potential impact circle that has an identified site.***
**Potential impact radius means
- The radius of a circle within which the failure of a pipeline could have significant impact on people or property. The PIR is determined using a mathematical formula.
***Identified site means
- An outside area or open structure occupied by 20 or more people on at least 50 days in any 12-month period. The days don’t have to be consecutive.
- A building that is occupied by 20 or more people on at least five days a week for 10 weeks in any 12- month period. The days and weeks don’t have to be consecutive.
- A facility occupied by anyone who is confined, impaired mobility or would be difficult to evacuate.
When an HCA is identified using a potential impact radius, the length of the HCA extends along the pipeline from the outermost edge of the first potential impact circle that contains an identified site or 20 or more buildings intended for human occupancy to the outermost edge of the last potential impact circle that contains an identified site or 20 or more buildings intended for human occupancy.
The picture below provides a graphical example of this: