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PIPA Recommended Practice ND25

ND25 "Contact Transmission Pipeline Operator Prior to Excavating or Blasting"

Practice Statement Anyone planning to conduct excavating, blasting and/or seismic activities should consult with affected transmission pipeline operators well in advance of commencing these activities. Excavating and blasting have the potential to affect soil stability or lead to movement or settling of the soil surrounding the transmission pipeline.

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

Practice Description

Transmission pipelines are dependent upon the stability of the surrounding soil to ensure that they are adequately supported and not over-stressed. Excavations (blasting, boring, digging, trenching, drilling, etc.), especially those that are deeper or down-gradient from a transmission pipeline, must be planned and conducted to ensure that they do not undermine the soil supporting the pipeline. Undermining of the soil can occur either at the time of the excavation or later due to soil subsidence or settling.

Notification of transmission pipeline operators through the one-call system is required prior to all excavations. Property developers/owners planning excavation or blasting should determine if transmission pipelines may be affected by the activities. If such pipelines are identified, the property developer/owner should coordinate with the transmission pipeline operator and provide information about the planned activities.

Appropriate local government agencies should be engaged in the permitting or licensing process for blasting, well in advance of the actual blasting operation, when transmission lines may be impacted. Transmission pipeline operators should be notified of the planned blasting operation as part of the permitting or licensing process by local government.

Seismic testing or land uses near transmission pipelines that involve regular or periodic blasting (e.g., quarrying, mining) may require enhanced communications and coordination between the property developer/owner and the transmission pipeline operator. During excavation or blasting activities, the transmission pipeline operator should continually evaluate any movement of the pipeline to ensure that acceptable stress levels in the pipeline are not exceeded.