Pipeline Safety

Pipeline Safety

Damage a pipeline? Leave the area and contact Greater Minnesota Gas at 888-931-3411.

More than 2.5 million miles of pipelines traverse the United States. Greater Minnesota Gas operates 700 square miles of distribution pipeline through 11 counties in Minnesota. Our sister company Greater Minnesota Transmission maintains 12.7 miles of transmission pipeline. We serve a wide variety of customers, from individual households to large commercial customers. Transporting natural gas efficiently and safely is our top concern.

That’s why we maintain a Damage Prevention Program in accordance with state and federal guidelines. The program is designed to prevent damage to our pipeline and facilities from excavation activities, including digging, trenching, blasting, boring, tunneling, and backfilling.

How to Recognize the Location of a Pipeline

Markers are located in the pipeline right-of-way and indicate the approximate location, but not the depth, of a buried pipeline. Although not present in certain areas, these can be found at road crossings, fence lines, and street intersections. The markers display the product transported in the line, the name of the pipeline operator, and a telephone number where the operator can be reached in the event of an emergency.

Digging around a Pipeline

State laws require you to maintain minimum clearance, or tolerance zone, between the point of excavation and a marked pipeline. The tolerance zone is a defined horizontal space from the outside wall or edge of an underground line or pipe. The size or width varies by state and is defined in the individual state One Call legislation.

Even the most minor damage to a pipeline can have serious consequences. If you cause or witness even minor damage to a pipeline or its protective coating, do not cover up or attempt to repair the pipeline. Evacuate the area and call 911 and Greater Minnesota Gas immediately at 888-931-3411.

If a Leak Occurs

To prepare for the event of a leak, we regularly communicate with local emergency responders. Upon notification of an incident or leak, we dispatch trained and qualified personnel in response. Our technicians are trained to protect life, property, and facilities by taking steps to minimize the leak and isolate the pipeline emergency.

We invest significant time and capital maintaining the quality and integrity of our pipeline systems. Field personnel continually monitor the pipeline system and are available for immediate response to any incident or leak.

If a leak occurs, emergency personnel should take whatever steps necessary to protect the public during a pipeline emergency. The following suggestions are offered only as a guide.

Secure the Area around the Leak
This could include evacuating people from homes, businesses, schools and other locations as well as erecting barricades to prevent access to the emergency site.

Prevent Ignition of a Pipeline Leak
This could include rerouting traffic, shutting off electricity and residential gas supply by qualified individuals or preventing ignition sources from entering the emergency site.

Contact Greater Minnesota Gas as quickly as possible
Do not operate any valves, as this action could escalate the emergency. We will dispatch personnel to help and aid the response to the emergency. Our team will take the necessary actions, such as starting and  stopping pumps, opening or closing valves, and similar steps to minimize the impact of the situation.

Greater Minnesota Gas makes our Emergency Spill Response Plan information available to Emergency Responders upon request. We invest significant time and capital maintaining the quality and integrity of our pipeline systems. Field personnel continually monitor the pipeline system and are available for immediate response to any incident or leak.

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About Greater Minnesota Gas Pipelines

Together, Greater Minnesota Gas and Greater Minnesota Transmission maintains hundreds of miles of distribution and transmission pipeline across southern and western Minnesota. Our 700 square miles of distribution pipeline is 2 to 6 inches in diameter. Our 12.7 miles of transmission pipeline is 16 inches in diameter and is operated at 700 psig.

Request a Training

Our professional team offers training to fire departments, law enforcement, and dispatchers. Get in touch today to schedule a training session for your team. Contact Us to learn More

Get in touch with the natural gas safety team at Greater Minnesota Gas to report a leak or get your safety questions answered.

Call Before You Dig

Are you utilizing the Gopher State One Call 811 system? You must call in locates at least two business days prior to doing any digging on your property. By following this important step, you will prevent service interruption for both you and your neighbors.

 

Safety Tip

Always leave at least 18 inches of clearance around your gas furnace & water heater, and at least 6 inches around gas stoves and clothes dryers.