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PIPA Recommended Practice ND23

ND23 "Consider Site Emergency Response Plans in Land Use Development"

Practice Statement Emergency response plan requirements should be considered in new land use development within a planning area (see PIPA Recommended Practice BL06) to reduce the risks of a transmission pipeline incident.

Audience(s): Local Government, Property Developer and Owner

Practice Description

Effective emergency response planning can reduce the risk of a potential transmission pipeline incident by providing for timely response and situational control. Site emergency response plans should include coordination with the transmission pipeline operator. The property developer/owner should consider emergency response needs when planning land use development in proximity to a transmission pipeline right-of-way to ensure that emergency response is not impeded during a pipeline incident. Emergency response requirements include but may not be limited to the following:

Access to shutoff valves

Transmission pipeline operator access to shutoff valve(s) ensures that the transmission pipeline can be shutoff to mitigate the impact (duration and volume of release) from a pipeline incident. Development plans should clearly indicate the access to transmission pipeline shutoff valves. Valve access routes should be coordinated with the transmission pipeline operators and should consider access to areas that may be locked or gated for security and privacy purposes (i.e. private or gated communities, secured facilities, etc.).

Access for emergency response personnel/equipment

Development plans should include emergency access and turnabouts, as needed. The emergency response access route should be of appropriate width to accommodate emergency response equipment. Street turnabouts should be of adequate turning radius to facilitate forward or reverse hose lays and/or exit of any emergency response equipment. Access routes should consider access to areas that may be locked or gated for security and privacy purposes (i.e. private or gated communities, secured facilities, etc.). Standards NFPA 1, "Fire Code", and International Fire Code provide minimum standards for the plans, construction, specifications, and maintenance of access routes for emergency responders.

Location/capacity of fire hydrants (as appropriate)

Although water is not typically used to extinguish flammable liquid or gas fires, it may be used to cool exposed structures to prevent a fire from spreading. If the possible use of fire hydrants is anticipated, their location and capacity should be evaluated to ensure that there are an adequate number of hydrants available, that they are located adequately, that they are of adequate capacity, and that they are maintained to be accessible and reliable. NFPA 1 and IFC provide minimum standards for the location and supply of fire hydrants.

Potential ICS, triage, and staging areas (as appropriate)

It may be beneficial to ensure that there is ample amount of room in the vicinity for incident command systems, triage, and staging areas. These may be included in the local government's master plans. (Some local governments develop master plans - long-range plans used to guide where and in what form physical development occurs in the community.)

It should be noted that transmission pipeline operators are required to provide emergency liaison and consultations by existing pipeline safety regulations. Gas and liquid transmission pipeline operators must maintain, modify as appropriate, and follow the plans, procedures and programs they are required to establish under Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 192 and 195.

In addition, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has formed partnerships, funded research and programs, and has published supplementary documents to assist transmission pipeline operators, emergency response personnel, and others in developing an emergency response plan.