Page 14 - Arkansas 811 Magazine 2022 Issue 1
P. 14

Be aware of pipeline markers in your neighborhood and at your worksite
The U.S. has the largest network of energy pipelines of any nation in the world. There are more than 200,000 miles of oil pipelines and 300,000
miles of natural gas pipelines all
across the country. These lines are tucked under our streets, through neighborhoods and communities, and traveling below farmland, forests and deserts. Since Americans consume more than 700 million gallons of petroleum products per day, pipelines are an essential component of our nation’s infrastructure. Without them our roads and highways would be overrun with trucks trying to meet this demand. According to National Transportation Safety Board statistics, pipelines are
the safest, most reliable manner for transporting crude oil and other liquid petroleum products. Pipeline owners and operators are ever mindful of the safety of those around them and they strictly follow proven safety procedures.
Many pipeline companies regularly inspect their rights-of-way using air, foot or vehicle patrols. These trained inspectors look for potential danger to pipelines such as construction activity or signs of gas or liquid leaks. These inspections along their pipeline routes
Look for these signs
1. Located near roads, railroads and along the pipeline right-of-way
2. Marker for pipeline patrol planes
3. Pipeline casing vent
4. Painted metal, plastic or fiberglass posts
are to ensure the security and integrity of their lines.
Pipeline companies keep in touch
on a regular basis with emergency officials and work with local emergency responders along pipeline rights-of-way in case of an emergency, sometimes even training with fire departments or hazardous materials units. Even though a leak or spill is extremely unlikely, pipeline companies provide information like that which you will find on the following pages that will prepare you
in the event that it does occur. Their hope is to continue to be a quiet neighbor and provide you with this important information to help if you suspect a problem in your area. Pipeline companies take the safe operation of their infrastructure seriously, which includes protecting your family, your property and the environment. Because of this diligence, incidents are very rare.
For your safety, pipelines are marked by above ground signs to provide
an indication of their presence, approximate location, material carried and the name and contact information of the company that operates the pipeline. Markers may be anywhere
along the right-of-way (a strip of land usually about 25 to 150 feet wide that contains a pipeline) or directly over
the pipeline itself. These markers are generally yellow, black and red in color. The pipeline may not follow a straight course between markers. While markers are helpful in locating pipelines, they
do not provide information such as how many pipelines are below or the depth of the lines. The primary function of these markers is to identify the location of the pipeline generally as an alert to those who might be working along the pipeline corridor for another utility
or during the construction of homes
or businesses nearby. You should be aware of any pipeline markers in your neighborhood. As the saying goes, “Know your neighbors.” Write down the name and phone numbers appearing
on the pipeline markers in case of emergency.
Pipeline markers are important for
the safety of the general public. It is a federal crime for any person to willfully deface, damage, remove or destroy any pipeline sign or right-of-way marker.
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