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.
Construction personnel must be qualified in accordance with industry standards incorporated into federal regulation. Weld types and procedures are also set by federal regulation. The design of the welds, including stringent testing, is a key part of designing the pipeline system.
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 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 both and liquid pipelines regularly go above and beyond regulations to inform and engage communities they serve.
Discover how industry employees strive to be good neighbors in every community they live and operate.