[Skip to Content]
DOT Logo
U.S. Department
of Transportation

Pipeline Safety Stakeholder Communications

Pipeline Safety Connects Us All

PIPA Recommended Practice BL10

BL10 "Implement Communications Plan"

Practice Statement Transmission pipeline operators should develop and implement effective communications plans when communicating acceptable transmission pipeline right-of-way uses and activities to property developers/owners and other stakeholders.

Audience(s): Transmission Pipeline Operator

Practice Description

Typical transmission pipeline operator to stakeholder communications regarding acceptable rights-of-way uses and activities occur either to: 1) exchange information; 2) educate; or 3) cause behavior or a change in behavior. Most pipeline operator communications regarding acceptable right-of-way uses and activities are intended to cause certain behaviors among stakeholders. Understanding what behavior is expected and what behavior is currently exhibited is important to changing behavior. To maximize the opportunity created with each communication, the pipeline operator should give considerable thought to what behavior is desired, what behavior needs to change, and what behavior should be maintained by the specific stakeholder segment.

A process model for communicating to stakeholders regarding acceptable uses and activities on transmission pipeline rights-of-way is applicable in any circumstance. This includes existing transmission pipelines in existing developed areas and rural areas, when a new transmission pipeline is being constructed, and when new development is occurring near an existing transmission pipeline. The following PIPA seven-step model is useful when a transmission pipeline operator is communicating acceptable right-of-way uses and activities to land owners and other stakeholders. However, the model can be used by any stakeholder to make their communications more effective.

  1. Identify the problem (or need) the communication will address
  2. Determine which stakeholder(s) receives the communication
  3. Identify draft message to be communicated
  4. Develop the final message and message delivery system based on a strategy best suited for the desired outcome
  5. Implement communications
  6. Measure effectiveness
  7. Identify and implement changes if necessary

Further discussion of the PIPA seven-step communication model is included as Appendix E.

Transmission pipeline operators are required by current pipeline safety regulations to develop and implement enhanced public awareness programs following the American Petroleum Institute's Recommended Practice (RP) 1162. RP 1162 has requirements similar to this seven-step process. Additionally, the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) Damage Prevention Best Practices include practices for communicating with damage prevention stakeholders.