Public Officials

Public Officials

Why This Information Is Important To You

You are receiving this brochure because you have pipelines in or near your community. Please take advantage of the information and links provided to further inform you about existing facilities and share that knowledge with your colleagues.

Learn about pipelines in your community. If you are a public official who oversees or makes decisions about issues that may impact a pipeline right-of-way. The following information is very important to know about pipelines in your community:

Learn about pipelines in your community. If you are a public official who oversees or makes decisions about issues that may impact a pipeline right-of-way. The following information is very important to know about pipelines in your community:

  • How to contact an operator.
  • Actions to ensure open communication.
  • Emergency response preparedness.
  • Land-use planning.

Pipelines are everywhere. Pipelines run down city streets and onto private properties in order to supply homes and businesses with natural gas. They gather crude oil and natural gas from populated and rural locations. Driving, walking, or riding over a pipeline daily is very likely. Look for pipeline markers and note the company name and emergency phone number.

Who is OPAL?

OPAL is a member organization of pipeline operators dedicated to promoting pipeline safety and awareness in our state. Communicating with emergency responders, excavators, and public officials, OPAL shares the basics of pipeline safety including damage prevention, leak recognition, response, and reporting.

Pipeline Purpose and Reliability

The United States has the largest pipeline network in the world that delivers the raw materials that are processed into fuel that powers our lives. The safest and most cost-effective transportation for these products is through pipelines. Pipeline operators are subject to many Federal and State regulations, as well as industry standards. These regulations and standards deal with all phases of pipeline operations.

3 Primary Types of Pipelines:

  • Gathering–collect oil and natural gas from production areas.
  • Transmission–transport large quantities of gas or liquids long distances
  • Distribution–Deliver gas to residential, commercial and manufacturing customers.

Developing Communities

Developers and Public Officials can work together to verify that lands slated for development have accurate locations of nearby pipelines.

Developers, Public Officials, and Pipeline Operators can work together to ensure this accuracy that new developments do not encroach on pipeline right-of-ways.

Community growth has had a tremendous impact on the pipeline industry.

Pipelines that were once buried in sparsely populated areas can now be found in urban locations as land development expands with new neighborhoods, schools, businesses, and industrial areas. With this growth, more people are working and living in the vicinity of pipelines, making safety an even higher priority.

Because land development in the proximity of any pipeline can result in unintentional injuries, fatalities or property and environmental damage, PIPA has developed recommended practices for protecting communities and transmission pipelines and for communicating with stakeholders. These recommended practices provide information on existing transmission lines and potential risks that can help communities during development planning.

Safe Communities

To maintain safe, reliable operations of our pipelines and facilities, we implement many preventive measures and procedures such as the following:

  • Preventive Maintenance programs
  • Pipeline Monitoring
  • Aerial and/or Ground Surveys
  • Cathodic protection to inhibit corrosion

Pipeline operators have developed and implemented Integrity Management plans which provides a process for monitoring, managing, and mitigating risks along the pipeline system. Natural gas operators have implemented a High Consequence Area (HCA) plan for environmentally sensitive areas, urbanized and populated areas, impaired mobility areas, and navigable waterways.

How to Recognize a Pipeline Location

National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS)

In addition to pipeline markers designating the general location of pipelines, transmission pipelines can also be found at the National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS) web site:

NEVER utilize the NPMS web site in place of calling 811 prior to starting an excavation project.

How to Recognize a Pipeline Leak

Pipeline Product Properties

Steps You Can Take to Ensure Your Safety Around Oil and Gas Pipelines


  • Know how to contact the operators
  • Always call 811, and wait the required time before you excavate
  • Know where productions sites and pipelines are located

Additional Information

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