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Pipeline Safety Stakeholder Communications

Pipeline Safety Connects Us All

Land Use Planning Near Transmission Pipelines

Examples of Good & Poor Practices

Risk-informed development near transmission pipelines includes consideration of the effects of the pipeline to the community and the effects of the community to the pipeline. Facilities that may be impacted by or may impact the pipeline include:

  • Parking lots & structures
  • Roads
  • Water & sanitary systems and other utilities
  • Residential, mixed use, commercial and industrial development
  • Institutional facilities and places of mass public assembly
  • Public safety & enforcement buildings

Stakeholders should review proposed developments for safe integration with existing transmission pipelines. Consider:

  • Measures to prevent excavation damage during construction and in the future
  • Access for pipeline maintenance activities & emergency response
  • Ability to accomplish safe and timely evacuations if necessary
  • Maximum separation between proposed facilities and the transmission pipeline
  • Enhanced fire endurance for structures
  • Selection and design of vegetation
  • Potential of gas or hazardous liquid migration in the event of a pipeline release
  • Effects of noise and odor from pipeline operations
  • Escalation of risk due to cascading effects
  • Use of pipeline rights-of-way for uses such as green spaces, parks, golf courses, trails, and other recreational spaces

Following are some examples of good and bad land use planning and development. More examples can be found in the PIPA Report, Partnering to Further Enhance Pipeline Safety in Communities Through Risk-Informed Land Use Planning.

Examples of good land use planning near transmission pipelines

Development designed so the cul-de-sacs are not cut off and isolated by pipeline rights-of-way. Transmission pipeline right-of-way is clearly defined, free of large vegetation, and easily accessible by the pipeline operator. Fences have been placed parallel but outside of the right-of-way.
Temporary fence and markers are installed along the edges of the transmission pipeline right-of-way to alert construction crews. Aboveground transmission pipeline creek crossing was modified to accommodate a pedestrian bridge connecting walking trails. The transmission pipeline is located (illustrated) between the girders under the walkway.

Examples of poor land use planning near transmission pipelines

Fence encroaching on the transmission pipeline right-of-way obstructs the pipeline operator’s ability to inspect and maintain the pipeline and could impede emergency access.<br>
Heavy vehicle encroachment (truck shown) could damage the pipeline. Any such encroachment should be coordinated with the pipeline operator.
Houses accessed via cul-de-sac are isolated by pipeline crossing cul-de-sac.  (Pipeline right-of-way is illustrated by yellow lines in picture.)
Trees planted inside the transmission pipeline right‐of‐way should be removed. Residential buildings constructed along the edge of the right-of-way of a 10” high-pressure pipeline transporting jet fuel.  Example of impact of transmission pipeline maintenance on development built in close proximity to the edge of the pipeline right‐of-way. Structures adjacent to the ROW, such as the wooden fence, have been damaged as a result of the limited amount of workspace for large equipment.