Natural gas pipelines are the nation’s safest method of transporting energy, quietly delivering large volumes of the clean-burning fuel to local gas distribution companies, who ultimately carry gas to homes and businesses.
If you suspect a pipeline leak, turn off and abandon any motorized equipment. Leave the area quickly. Warn others to stay away. From a safe place, call the pipeline operator and emergency personnel. Do not use open flames or anything that may spark ignition. Do not attempt to operate pipeline valves.
If you have gas service and you detect a natural gas odor, leave the area immediately and then call emergency personnel.
Since pipelines are buried underground, pipeline companies use line markers to indicate the approximate location of pipelines. The markers are placed where pipelines intersect streets, railroads, rivers and heavily congested areas. Markers indicate the general, not exact, location of a pipeline, but do not indicate how deep the pipeline is buried, or how many lines are in the area. Pipelines do not necessarily follow a straight course between two markers. Never rely solely on the presence or absence of pipeline markers. Always call 811 or your state’s One Call notification service before digging. It is a federal crime for any person to willfully deface, damage, remove or destroy any pipeline sign or right-of-way marker required by federal law.
A pipeline right-of-way is the strip of land over a pipeline. A right-of-way agreement between a pipeline company and property owner is called an easement. Easements provide pipeline companies with permanent, limited interest to the land to enable companies to operate, test, inspect, maintain and protect their pipelines. Although agreements may vary, pipeline companies’ rights-of-way generally extend 25 feet from each side of the pipeline unless specified otherwise.
Pipeline rights-of-way must be kept free from obstructions. If a pipeline crosses your property, do not plant trees or high shrubs on the right-of-way. Also, do not dig, store or place anything on or near the right-of-way without first having pipeline company personnel mark the pipeline, stake the right-of-way and explain the company’s minimum guidelines for construction. Pipeline company personnel regularly inspect pipeline rights-of-way using air, foot and vehicle patrols. The inspectors look for potential danger to pipelines, such as construction activity, and check for signs of gas leaks.
Millennium operates the pipelines that deliver gas to local gas distribution companies. The distribution companies, in turn, deliver the gas to homes and businesses. If you desire natural gas service to your home, contact the local gas distribution company in your area.