NENA Pipeline Emergency Operations Standard/Model Recommendation

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NENA Pipeline Emergency Operations Standard/Model Recommendation

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This Standard is intended to aid Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) in the development and implementation of emergency communications protocols pertaining to pipeline emergencies.  It addresses common situations involving pipelines carrying non-toxic natural gas and hazardous liquid petroleum products.  It does not address the release of toxic chemicals or other hazardous materials such as hydrogen sulfide.  The release of these substances will require a more detailed analysis and are beyond the general recommendations contained in this Standard.

On November 1, 2007 a 12 inch-diameter pipeline carrying liquid propane at about 1405 pounds per square inch, gauge, ruptured near Carmichael Mississippi. The resulting gas cloud expanded over nearby homes and ignited, creating a large fireball that was heard and seen from miles away.  About 10,253 barrels (430,626 gallons) of propane were released.  As a result of the ensuing fire, two people were killed and seven people sustained minor injuries. Four houses were destroyed, and several others were damaged.  About 71.4 acres of grassland and woodland were burned.  The reported property damage resulting from the accident, including the loss of product, was $3,377,247.

The National Transportation Safety Board investigated the accident and made the following recommendation to the Clark County Board of Supervisors: “Require and document that the Clarke County Central Dispatch emergency 9-1-1 personnel receive regular training and participate in regional exercises and drills pertaining to pipeline safety.”

After consideration of the NTSB recommendation to the Clark County Board of Supervisors, NENA recognized the need for additional guidance concerning pipeline safety throughout the 9-1-1 community.  A workgroup was organized to develop guidelines that could be used by any 9-1-1 Center.  The workgroup included individuals from the 9-1-1 community, the pipeline industry, and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.  This Operations Standard / Model Recommendations document is the result of their efforts.

This Standard was created to assist Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) in the development of their own internal emergency communications protocols pertaining to hazardous liquids and natural gas pipeline emergencies.  It makes general recommendations in three critical areas:

1.      Awareness of pipelines affecting the 9-1-1 Service Area,

2.      Pipeline leak recognition and initial response actions, and,

3.      Additional notifications to pipeline operators.

The focus of this Standard is on the first minute of the call intake process. Actions taken during this time frame significantly impact the effectiveness of the response and are critical to public safety.


Committee Information
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Operations – Standard Operating Procedures


Pipeline Emergency Operations Working Group

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NENA56-007 Pipeline Emergency Operations Standard Model Recommendation.pdf 66.37 KB