Pipeline operators must notify federal regulators of their plans to build new or expand existing pipelines.
Pipelines are designed to fit their operating use and conditions. The steel must be certified as meeting industry and federal government quality requirements for toughness and strength.
All aspects of a pipeline’s design must follow stringent federal regulations. Pipeline design regulations cover design elements such as pipe material and grade, pipe strength, wall thickness, operating temperature, and internal and external pressure requirements necessary to maintain each pipeline’s integrity. Other design requirements cover valves, fittings, and welds. Pipelines are designed and constructed with computerized leak detection systems and must be able to run in-line inspection tools.
In addition to determining a pipeline’s route, the design phase includes strategic placement of valve locations, pumps, compressors stations, instrumentation and metering systems, and storage tanks along the pipeline.
Pipeline designs are carefully reviewed and approved by state and federal regulators, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The construction phase can only begin after route selection, easement negotiations, environmental assessments, permitting and many other pre-construction actions have been completed.
Pipeline operators are committed to being good neighbors. Pipeline company representatives, sometimes known as landmen, regularly engage with emergency responders, public officials, residents of communities they serve and with landowners along their routes to share information and keep them informed about the pipeline before, during and after construction. Operators of energy pipelines regularly go above and beyond minimum regulations to inform and engage communities they serve.
Pipeline operators recently compiled leading public engagement and community building practices in the Community Engagement Guidelines, aiming to ensure that safe and responsible energy transportation occurs hand-in0hand with community and stakeholder input. Discover how industry employees strive to be good neighbors in every community they live and operate.