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Pipeline Awareness for Emergency Responders and Community Officials (RP 1162)

the pipeline system. When you call the 24-hour emergency phone number on a marker or sign, you will speak with someone at the pipeline operator’s Control Center which is the heart of pipeline operations. Information about operating equipment and parameters is constantly communicated to the com- puters at the Control Center. Personnel monitor pipeline pressure, tempera- ture, flow, alarms, and other conditions in the pipeline. While pipeline operators work hard to achieve incident-free operation, accidents do occur. In the event of a release, the Control Center can manage the release and begin to isolate the source of the leak.

Smart Pigs—To detect cor-

rosion, possible leaks, dents, and other potential integrity issues the pipeline industry uses internal inspection de- vices, sometimes referred to as “smart pigs,” that travel through the pipeline and record numerous details about its condition. The oper- ator then uses the informa- tion to address any potential defects.

FIGURE A.13 Inline Inspection tools or “Smart Pigs” being prepared to launch.

Cathodic Protection—To prevent corro-

sion the operator will run an electrical cur- rent of very low voltage along the outside of the pipeline. This current repels negative ions that could potentially lead to external pipe corrosion such as rust and deteriora- tion. Operators also conduct on-going outreach

education programs for communities and property owners adjacent to the rights-of- way to prevent the building of facilities on or too close to underground pipelines. Pipeline operators work with city plan-

ners, developers and others involved in land- use decision-making to address safety and emergency response issues. One issue is identifying a High Consequence Area (HCAs), defined as an area that includes a commercially navigable wa- terway, a highly populated or concentrated population area, and places of congregation. An operator who has determined that an HCA exists must then decide additional steps to be taken in order to mitigate the risks of a pipeline incident in the area. These could include increased monitoring, inspections of the pipeline or pressure testing its integrity.

FIGURE A.14 Cathodic protection is designed to prevent pipeline corro- sion.


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