DOT Logo
U.S. Department
of Transportation

Pipeline Safety Stakeholder Communications

Pipeline Safety Connects Us All

PIPA Recommended Practice BL17

BL17 "Map Abandoned Pipelines"

Practice Statement When a transmission pipeline operator abandons a transmission pipeline, information regarding the abandoned pipeline should be maintained and included in the information provided to the one-call center.

Audience(s): Transmission Pipeline Operator

Practice Description

When abandoning a transmission line, the pipeline operator should maintain the facility registration of the abandoned line with the one-call system. When receiving a notice of excavation from the one-call center, the transmission pipeline operator should, if known: (a) provide markings or notification to the excavator of the abandoned pipeline, (b) advise the excavator of the abandoned pipeline's contents, if known, and (c) advise the excavator of any safety precautions to take while working over or in close proximity to the abandoned pipeline. Transmission pipeline operators should inform excavators that if an unidentified pipeline facility is encountered during excavation, the excavator should not treat the underground pipeline facility as abandoned until receiving notification from the pipeline operator that the underground pipeline facility is abandoned.

Most one-call centers do not maintain line segment data from transmission pipeline operators. Operators typically identify by mapped polygons or grids areas for which the operator requests notification of excavating activities. The one-call center does not differentiate between active and abandoned lines. This recommended practice is intended to enable the transmission pipeline operator to identify the location of an abandoned pipeline for the excavator. This practice applies to transmissions pipelines abandoned after the PIPA recommendations are issued.