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We have implemented Integrity Management Programs for our natural gas transmission pipelines, to ensure the safety of pipelines located in High Consequence Areas (HCAs) that satisfy the Code of Federal Regulations 49 CFR Part 192 Subpart O (Gas transmission pipeline integrity management). Distribution Integrity Management Programs have been implemented to satisfy the requirements of 49 CFR 192 Subpart P. We also have implemented an Integrity Management Program for our underground storage facilities to ensure the integrity and safety of all assets to satisfy 49 CFR ยง 192.12 (Underground natural gas storage facilities).

This page contains several useful resources, such as facts about natural gas, safety measures to take in case of a natural gas emergency, call-before-you-dig information, and right of way information.

Pipeline Emergency Information

National Pipeline Mapping System

The National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS) Public Viewer enables the user to view NPMS pipeline, liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant and breakout tank data one county at a time, including attributes and pipeline operator contact information. Users can also view gas transmission and hazardous liquid pipeline accidents and incidents going back to 2002 for the entire US.

NPMS pipeline data consists of gas transmission pipelines and hazardous liquid pipelines jurisdictional to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), the regulatory body having responsibility for pipeline safety compliance. It does not contain gas gathering or distribution pipelines, such as lines which deliver gas to customer homes. Therefore, not all pipelines in an area will be visible in the Public Viewer.

All NPMS data is for reference purposes only. It should never be used as a substitute for contacting a one-call center prior to excavation activities. Please call 811 before any digging occurs.

Pipeline Emergency Videos

Recognizing Pipeline Emergencies

For your safety, markers are used to show the approximate location of pipelines and identify the companies that operate them. You should be aware of any pipeline markers in and around your neighborhood. Write down the name and phone numbers of the pipeline company listed on the markers and call them in case of emergency or if you detect a problem around the pipeline.

Natural Gas Pipeline Emergencies

Because natural gas is non-toxic and lighter than air, it typically dissipates into the atmosphere. However, natural gas will burn if mixed with the right amount of oxygen and then ignited by a spark.

If you sense any of the following emergencies on or near pipeline rights of way or above-ground facilities, leave the area immediately and report it as soon as possible:

How to recognize a natural gas pipeline leak:

  • Gas escaping from a pipeline. This may be detected in any of several ways: 
    • By Sound: Leaks may be accompanied by a loud, high-pitched whistle or roar. If you hear such a sound in the vicinity of a pipeline, leave immediately and call the pipeline operator and 911.
    • By Sight: Natural gas is transported in a very dry condition and will remove the moisture from the soil in the vicinity of a leak. A patch of discolored soil, dead vegetation, bubbling water or frozen ground when the weather is warm along the pipeline should be reported immediately.
    • By Smell: Natural gas is odorless; however, local distribution companies that provide gas to communities add an odorant to the gas. If you smell a distinctive “rotten egg” odor along the pipeline, please report it.
  • Fire located near or directly involving a pipeline right of way or other pipeline facility.
  • Explosion occurring near or directly involving any pipeline facilities.
  • Natural disasters (earthquake, washout, lightning, etc.) directly involving pipeline facilities.
  • Any digging or construction on a pipeline right of way in the absence of pipeline company personnel. Whenever you observe earth disturbance activities in proximity to pipeline facilities, please inquire to ensure the ONE-CALL process has been used for the dig area.
  • Any other damage that might signify a hazardous condition.

How to respond to a natural gas pipeline emergency:

If you think you hear, see, or smell a leak from a natural gas pipeline:

  1. Leave the area immediately, heading upwind.
  2. Do not touch, breathe or make contact with leaking liquids or gases.
  3. Do not light a match, start an engine, use a telephone, operate light switches or do anything that might create a spark.
  4. From a safe location, call 911 or your local emergency response number and the pipeline company. Call collect, if needed, and give your name, telephone number, a description of the problem and its location.
  5. Do not drive into a leak or vapor cloud area.
  6. Do not attempt to stop the leak by operating pipeline equipment.
  7. Warn others, if necessary.
  8. Remember, even a scrape or dent to a pipeline needs to be reported to the pipeline company. If not promptly reported or repaired, it could result in a future leak or serious accident.

If the problem involves a Dominion Energy pipeline, please call the appropriate telephone number:

Never hesitate to call if you think there is a leak. Dominion Energy will dispatch company personnel to investigate reported leaks at any time of day or night.

Program Resources

Be Safe Call First

Accidentally digging into utility lines is extremely dangerous, can result in serious injury or death and could be very costly. If you disturb a pipeline, corrosion or other damage could eventually occur, endangering others and disrupting essential utility services that people rely on every day.

If you're planning any work that will disturb the earth, the law requires you to call a ONE – CALL notification system for free utility location services before you dig. Please notify 811 according to your state requirements and other guidelines which can be found here.

Basic Facts About Natural Gas

Natural gas is a versatile form of non-polluting fuel. The most common method for transporting it is under high pressure in underground pipelines. Should our pipelines become damaged and natural gas escapes, you should be aware that:

  • It is colorless and generally odorless, unless it contains a naturally occurring odor or has an odorant added.
  • It is lighter than air and will rise and dissipate rapidly.
  • Natural gas is neither toxic nor poisonous, but it can cause suffocation in a confined space because of its ability to displace oxygen in the blood.
  • Natural gas will burn when mixed with air and ignited. Escaping gas can be ignited from open flames, sparks from electrical switches and motors, mechanical equipment, moving rocks, etc.

Components of Natural Gas (percentages are approximate and will vary)

  • Methane 96.0 percent
  • Nitrogen < 0.3 percent
  • Ethane < 1.5 percent
  • Other hydrocarbons, each less than 0.1 percent to 1.4 percent
  • Propane < 0.3 percent 

Natural Gas Pipelines

Millions of Americans rely on clean, efficient natural gas to fuel homes and workplaces, never considering the vast network of pipelines that criss-cross the country transporting this abundant source of clean energy from the wellhead to the burner tip.

The companies that build and operate interstate natural gas pipelines have created the safest mode of transportation today — safer than highway, rail, airborne and waterborne transport. And the interstate natural gas pipeline industry is spending millions of dollars each year on research and new technologies to make their systems increasingly safer.

In December 2002, President George W. Bush signed into law the Pipeline Safety Bill H.R. 3609, the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002. One of the provisions of the act required the Secretary of Transportation to issue regulations defining integrity management programs prescribing the standards for conducting a risk analysis and adoption, and implementation of an integrity management program for transmission natural gas pipelines. 

In December 2003, the Office of Pipeline Safety issued a final rule requiring natural gas pipeline operators to develop integrity management programs for gas transmission pipelines located where a leak or rupture could do the most harm, that is, where it could impact high-consequence areas.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published the final rule establishing integrity management requirements for gas distribution pipeline systems on December 4, 2009 (74 FR 63906). The effective date of the rule was February 12, 2010. By August 2, 2011, operators were required to have a written plan and implemented program (§192.1005). This written Plan and Program meet the requirements of 49 CFR Part 192 Pipeline Safety: Integrity Management Program for Gas Distribution Pipelines - Final Rule and the corresponding amendments published 2/2/2010, 2/1/2011, 1/11/2021, and 3/5/2021 effective date change and correction.

On December 19, 2016, PHMSA published in the Federal Register an interim final rule (IFR) that revises the Federal pipeline safety regulations to address critical safety issues related to downhole facilities, including wells, wellbore tubing, and casing, at underground natural gas storage facilities. This IFR responds to Section 12 of the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016, which was enacted following the serious natural gas leak at the Aliso Canyon facility in California on October 23, 2015. This IFR incorporates by reference two American Petroleum Institute (API) Recommended Practices (RP): (1) API RP 1170, "Design and Operation of Solution-mined Salt Caverns used for Natural Gas Storage," issued in July 2015, and (2) API RP 1171, "Functional Integrity of Natural Gas Storage in Depleted Hydrocarbon Reservoirs and Aquifer Reservoirs," issued in September 2015. The final rule was published in the Federal Register on February 12, 2020. A correction to the final rule was published in the Federal Register on July 23, 2020.  

Transmission Integrity Management Program

Dominion Energy's management team cultivates a culture of integrity management in order to align itself with the spirit of the regulation. 

Dominion Energy has created a Transmission Integrity Management Program (TIMP) that it believes meets or exceeds the intent of the integrity management regulations. The TIMP will be refined continually as it moves from its framework to a comprehensive program. Conformance to the processes required by Dominion Energy’s TIMP is thoroughly documented and communicated throughout the organization.

Dominion Energy’s pipeline TIMP for natural gas transmission pipelines addresses all of the components required by the DOT including, but not limited, to the following components:

  • High-Consequence Areas
  • Threat Identification and Risk Assessment
  • Baseline/Continuous Assessment Plans
  • Remediation/Prevention
  • Record-Keeping Provisions
  • Performance and Quality Assurance
  • Management of Change
  • Communications

For more information on Integrity Management Programs, see the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Integrity Management Fact Sheet.

Key Elements:

  • High Consequence Area identification
  • Moderate Consequence Areas identification
  • Threat identification/risk assessment
  • Assessment Plans
  • Remediation/Prevention
  • Performance Measures
  • Quality Assurance
  • Management of Change
  • Communications

Distribution Integrity Management

Dominion Energy has always placed a high priority on safety and compliance. The Company embraces the goals of improving pipeline safety and raising the public confidence in the natural gas industry as it continues to ensure the safe operations of its infrastructure. The Company supports a culture of safety and reliability to align itself with the spirit of the regulation and will support on-going efforts to improve the understanding of its distribution system and to mitigate risks to that system.

Key elements:

  • System Knowledge
  • Threat Identification
  • Evaluation of Risk
  • Measures to Address Risk
  • Performance Monitoring and Effectiveness Evaluation
  • Results reporting
  • Periodic Evaluation and Improvement. 

Underground Storage Integrity Management 

In compliance with 49 CFR Part §192.12, Dominion Energy supports storage asset integrity activities with
1) the written SIMP Plan,
2) analysis, and
3) the evaluation and performance improvements necessary to manage risks to the integrity of the Company's storage systems

Key Elements:

  • Functional Integrity in the Design of Natural Gas Storage Reservoirs
  • Functional Integrity in the Design and Construction of Natural Gas Storage Wells
  • Functional Integrity of the Natural Gas Storage Reservoir and Wells
  • Risk Management for Gas Storage Operations
  • Integrity Demonstration, Verification, and Monitoring Practices
  • Site Security and Safety, Site Inspections, and Emergency Preparedness and Response
  • Procedures and Training
  • Periodic Evaluation and Improvement
  • Reporting
  • Exception Process

Rights of Way Corridor

Rights of way corridors extending along the pipeline play an important role in ensuring the integrity and safety of Dominion Energy's pipeline network. The Right of Way (ROW) Agreement is a legal document through which a landowner grants the pipeline company permission to use a portion of their land to install, operate and maintain pipelines.

The ROW Agreement remains in effect even if the property is sold and is binding to the new owners. The ROW Agreement gives the pipeline company the necessary permission to regularly maintain the rights of way along its pipeline systems to ensure pipeline safety.

To ensure pipeline integrity:

  • Do not erect buildings or structures, or plant trees or other obstructions on the pipeline rights of way.
  • Do not excavate, change the grade or impound water within the rights of way without the company’s permission.
  • Do not move heavy equipment or logs across the rights of way and avoid blasting within 1,000 feet of the pipeline without the company’s approval..

Although building on the rights of way is prohibited, under certain conditions roads, railroads, streets, cables and other utility lines may cross the pipeline. In these instances, Dominion Energy will work with the owner, developer or contractor to accommodate such construction. The owner and/or developer will be required to pay any costs necessary to ensure the pipeline meets all regulations. 

Dominion Energy asks that landowners familiarize themselves with the content of the ROW Agreement and abide by its content.

Safe Operation of Pipelines

To ensure the safe operation of its system, Dominion Energy employs highly trained, highly experienced employees to operate the system in accordance with federal, state and local government regulations. Our employees maintain a commitment and dedication to ensure we operate our facilities according to the highest safety standards.

Safe operation of the system is our primary consideration. We closely regulate the pressure at which our system operates to ensure that it is within limits established by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Doing so helps maintain the integrity of the pipeline and ensures the reliable, safe operation of the system.

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