Integrity Management & Mapping/GIS
Pipeline safety regulations underwent significant changes as a result of the "Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002."
This law required more stringent pipeline regulations and more communication with businesses and residents in certain areas along pipeline facilities.
These areas-known as High Consequence Areas-can generally be described as:
- Areas that meet certain criteria of population density
- Areas that contain populations that would be difficult to evacuate, such as schools and hospitals
- Areas where people congregate such as ball fields and parks
The pipeline safety regulations require natural gas pipeline operators to have Integrity Management Programs to apply in these High Consequence Areas. These programs identify methods for addressing threats and maintaining the structural soundness (integrity) of the pipelines. These regulations are more rigorous than those for non-High Consequence Areas and focus integrity management activities on populated areas and areas where it would be difficult to evacuate people.
In most all cases, Spectra Energy applies the more rigorous requirements to the operation of all its pipeline facilities, not just the High Concentration Areas. Spectra Energy's U.S. Integrity Management Program incorporates procedures and operating practices that ensure we effectively manage pipeline threats.
See the Department of Transportation's natural gas pipeline Integrity Management website for more information.