Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Regulations
We work hard to keep our natural gas facilities and operations safe, secure and reliable.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) regulates the safety, design, construction, operation and maintenance of interstate natural gas transmission pipelines such as those operated by Duke Energy. The OPS is charged with ensuring that the U.S. pipeline system operates at high levels of safety and reliability.
Duke Energy’s pipeline system is inspected by the OPS and/or state pipeline safety representative each year to ensure compliance with pipeline safety regulations. Duke Energy responds promptly to any findings and recommendations as a result of these inspections.
The OPS tracks pipeline failure and violation statistics. Pipeline failures are minimized by the many safety standards and procedures that Duke Energy follows. However, some failures are the result of others digging near or around the pipeline. To review failure statistics on the nation’s network of interstate natural gas pipelines, visit the OPS Web site.
Integrity Management & Mapping / GIS
Duke Energy adheres to pipeline safety laws and in many cases provide more stringent standards and procedures than is required by law. We work to quickly address any issues that may threaten the safety and security of our pipeline system.
The “Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002” introduced more stringent pipeline regulations and required increased communications with businesses and residents identified under certain criteria indicated below:
- Areas that meet certain criteria of population density
- Areas that contain populations of impaired mobility such as schools and hospitals
- Areas where people congregate such as ball fields and parks
As a result to the new law, natural gas pipeline operators are required to have Integrity Management Programs to apply in these areas. Duke Energy’s Integrity Management Program incorporates procedures and operating practices to help our personnel identify and address threats and to ensure that our pipelines remain structurally sound (integrity).
You can learn more about Integrity Management by visiting the Department of Transportation’s natural gas pipeline Integrity Management Web site.
Mapping/Geographic Information System
A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a computer database capable of organizing and relating information according to its geographic location. At Duke Energy, we use GIS to record and analyze up-to-date pipeline information throughout our system. We include specific pipe statistics, such as size, coating, construction and testing information, along with pipeline routes with topographical, weather and community-based data. Using a GIS, Duke Energy can learn more about factors that affect pipelines and possibly forecast when issues may occur.
Pipeline rights of way are marked with signs showing the pipeline’s approximate location, name of the pipeline company and a telephone number where company representatives can be reached. For security reasons, detailed maps of the pipeline are not publicly available.