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State Partnerships Make a Big Difference in Pipeline Safety

State Partnerships Make a Big Difference in Pipeline Safety

Excavation damage is a leading cause of serious pipeline incidents, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Our State Damage Prevention grants, which are now open for applications, foster strong state programs that work to eliminate these accidents entirely through education, technology, enforcement, and by coordinating communications between pipeline operators and excavators.

At PHMSA, we work to oversee a nationwide network of pipelines, but excavation happens at a local level. These grants support state efforts to create programs that can address each state’s unique needs. In short, these state programs account for that last mile in getting information about pipeline safety to the people who need it.

Picture of a Warning: Gas Pipeline sign

Over the past six years, we’ve helped fund damage prevention programs in 35 states. I hope that we can continue to work with states to continually expand the reach of our message.

Of course, these grants are just part of how we can all work together to keep our pipelines safe. For example, 811, our national Call Before You Dig hotline, connects individuals with their state call centers, which then coordinate with operators to mark pipeline locations.

Photo of markings on a path
Photo courtesy of Common Ground Alliance.

America's pipelines carry the fuels that heat our homes, fuel our cars, and run our power plants. And for the most part, they do this without us even knowing they’re around.

But for this system to remain safe, we all have to do our part. Yes, PHMSA supports state efforts, but we also need help from everyone --pipeline operators, contractors, and you.

You can help us get the word out on Twitter and Facebook, or by sharing the Call 811 videos on our YouTube channel. Most importantly, make sure to call the 811 hotline or your state’s damage prevention hotline before you dig.

Together, we can make excavation damage a thing of the past.

Cynthia Quarterman is Administrator of the Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

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