Pipeline incidents can occur anywhere and at any time. Improper infrastructure, general wear, and unforeseen accidents can all result in major spill cleanups and repairs. Clean Management has years of experience in pipeline incident repair and cleanups. If you have a pipeline incident, give us a call we’ll take care of it for you.
What are pipeline incidents?
Pipes that convey hazardous waste or nonhazardous waste can become dangerous when they leak or rupture. In the case of leaks, issues may take several weeks or even years to discover. Ruptures tend to be less subtle, but they are not necessarily more damaging than pipeline leaks.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) provides a guide for emergency responses. We have summarized their section on pipeline leaks, ruptures, and emergency response that begins on page 22.
Potential indications of leaks and ruptures
- Sounds coming from the pipeline: These may include loud explosions or soft hisses.
- Visuals of the internal materials: If the pipes convey gas or liquid, the sight of fog over the pipes or liquid bubbling to the surface (of the ground or water) are clear indications that something is amiss.
- Unusual colors around the site: Dead plants or discolored snow may be from an underlying pipe issue.
- Strong odor: Unusual and pungent odors may indicate a leak.
Incident response protocol
When a pipeline emergency occurs, safety is the highest priority. Before any paperwork is filed, the safety of the community, environment, and workers needs to be addressed.
Focus on safety
If you are unsure what materials are involved, take precautions. Ensure that anyone near the site wears personal protective equipment, and unless you are working with the pipeline operator, do not operate the pipeline valves or attempt to extinguish fires before the leak/rupture is contained. Evacuate employees as necessary and secure the site.
Investigate the pipeline
When it is safe to do so, attempt to determine the contents of the leak/rupture by locating pipeline markers and contacting the operator.
For more information on locations of pipelines carrying hazardous materials or natural gas, the National Pipeline Mapping System provides a tool that identifies pipeline locations and accidents by county. However, data submission is not required, so information is incomplete. More detailed information can be accessed by applying for an NPMS web viewer account.
The Pipeline Association for Public Awareness also publishes annual safety guides and awareness newsletters to help protect workers and the environment.
If your business needs assistance in containing a pipeline incident and dealing with the aftereffects, contact Clean Management’s team of waste management professionals. As we perform our services, we ensure that your business stays in compliance with all relevant federal, state, and local regulations.