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PIPA Recommended Practice BL01

BL01 "Obtain Transmission Pipeline Mapping Data"

Practice Statement Local government agencies responsible for land use and development planning or the issuance of development permits should obtain mapping data for all transmission pipelines within their areas of jurisdiction from PHMSA's National Pipeline Mapping System or from the transmission pipeline operators and show these pipelines on maps used for development planning.

Audience(s): Local Government

Practice Description

Transmission pipeline operators are required to submit pipeline location information to PHMSA's National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS). Operators must update the information annually and include identification of an operator contact and an estimation of data accuracy. PHMSA combines data submittals from all transmission pipeline operators and displays the pipelines through a geographic information system (GIS) called the Pipeline Integrity Management Mapping Application (PIMMA). The raw GIS data viewed through PIMMA is available to local government officials.

When technically feasible, local governments should apply for raw NPMS data, which is available in ESRI shape file format. Details on obtaining the data appear below. The mapping data in NPMS is a valuable tool to initially obtain pipeline location data. Operators may provide more detailed maps. When transmission pipelines are shown on local government planning maps, they should be accompanied by a warning that the pipeline location information is not to be used as a substitute for calling the one-call damage prevention system before excavating. Since NPMS is updated annually by transmission pipeline operators, local governments should obtain updated data from the NPMS annually to check for the addition or retirement of pipelines. As mentioned, NPMS data includes contact information for each transmission pipeline operator if local governments need to contact them for additional information.

Online Data Access

It is recommended that local government agencies establish PIMMA accounts to view transmission pipeline data sets at the county level. The application for a PIMMA account is available online.

Access to PIMMA allows local government users to view transmission pipeline maps and pipeline attributes for transmission pipelines within their areas of jurisdiction. They may also create or print maps in the Adobe portable document format (PDF).

The NPMS Public Viewer is available to the general public. It allows users to view pipeline maps for a user-specified state and county, but does not offer as many attributes or as large a scale as the password-protected PIMMA viewer does. The NPMS Public Viewer is available online.

Raw Data Distribution

Local government agencies can also request pipeline GIS data in ESRI format for transmission pipelines within their areas of jurisdiction. Information about requesting raw data can be found online.