Although the risk of being injured by a pipeline emergency is low, land development and construction close to pipelines increases the likelihood of pipeline damage and serious incidents.
Public officials can help keep their community safe by consulting with pipeline operators and identifying the location of pipelines as part of the planning and permitting process. Officials can also contact Office of Pipeline Safety's Community Liaison Services (formerly known as the Community Assistance & Technical Services (CATS) program manager in their area to discuss zoning and permitting decisions for project near pipelines or aboveground pipeline facilities.
To assist communities in becoming risk-informed about transmission pipelines and make better land-use planning and development decisions related to pipelines, The Pipeline & Hazardous Material Administration (PHMSA) initiated and supports the Pipeline and Informed Planning Alliance (PIPA). PIPA is a collaborative effort by key pipeline safety stakeholders. Read an overview document provided by the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) here.
These stakeholders have identified and recommend practices related to risk-informed planning and development around transmission pipelines in their November 2010 release of Partnering to Further Enhance Pipeline Safety In Communities Through Risk-Informed Land Use Planning: Final Report of Recommended Practices