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

Pipeline Safety Stakeholder Communications

Pipeline Safety Connects Us All

PIPA Recommended Practice BL16

BL16 "Halt Dangerous Excavation Activities near Transmission Pipelines"

Practice Statement Transmission pipeline operators should have procedures and established contacts with local enforcement personnel in order to act appropriately to halt dangerous excavation activities that may damage their pipelines and potentially cause an immediate threat to life or property.

Audience(s): Local Government, Transmission Pipeline Operator

Practice Description

Transmission pipeline operators should have written procedures to address the need to stop an excavation when it poses an immediate threat to the transmission pipeline facility or the general public. These procedures should include outreach to local enforcement agencies and personnel. The outreach communications should include information describing potential dangers to public safety of unsafe excavation practices near the pipeline.

Local enforcement personnel play a critical role due to their authority to legally halt an unsafe excavation. Agencies with the authority to halt a dangerous excavation may vary among governments. For example they may include titles such as Safety Officer, Police, Fire Department, Fire Marshal, Utility Coordinator, and Building Code Department.

The transmission pipeline operator should build relationships with the proper enforcement personnel in advance to facilitate timely response and corrective action.