CPG is Committed to Safe Operations and Pipeline Integrity
The Columbia Pipeline Group (CPG) companies, Columbia Gas Transmission, Columbia Gulf Transmission, Crossroads Pipeline, Central Kentucky Transmission Company, Hardy Storage Company, Millennium Pipeline and NiSource Midstream Services serve customers in more than 16 states. Our pipelines stretch more than 15,000 miles. It is our privilege to play a role in providing domestic energy for our nation. At CPG, we believe our primary responsibility is to ensure public safety through responsible operations. We are committed to protecting the safety and well-being of our employees and the members of the communities in which we operate. Natural gas pipelines are subject to not only our own stringent internal controls but also must meet rigorous federal and state requirements and oversight.
Safety Focus From Design to Delivery
Pipeline safety starts long before natural gas actually begins flowing. Safety is at the forefront during the design phase, when we apply strict industry standards, research-based company policies and regulatory mandates to every aspect of a facility’s development. From basic design to selection of materials, construction plans, operational plans and monitoring requirements, it is our top priority to ensure all projects.
Our operating facilities are kept under a constant watch — 24-hours a day, seven days a week — by the staff at our Gas Control monitoring center. Team members working in these centers continuously gather and monitor data from pipelines and related facilities across our operating system and can control the flow of gas throughout our pipeline network.
Partnering with Emergency Responders and Communities
Residents along our pipeline rights of way, contractors, excavators, emergency responders and public officials all play a key role in helping to keep our pipelines operating safely. These stakeholders learn how to prevent, detect and report a leak along a pipeline through ongoing communication and training with our personnel and by reading our public awareness brochure, which is regularly mailed to those living or working at or near one of our facilities.
Inspecting and Re-Inspecting
Periodic inspections of our facilities help us detect potential problems before they become safety concerns. These inspections, many of which are prescribed by law, include a detailed analysis of the underground corrosion protection systems along our pipelines, as well as above-ground surveys for detecting signs of leaks or other potential problems. Advanced internal inspection tools can also be used to physically inspect the condition of many of our pipelines from the inside out. In addition, regular aerial patrols of our main pipeline rights of way help us spot changes or conditions that could pose potential problems. All of these steps are in accordance with strict safety regulations prescribed by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).
Continual Improvement of Pipeline Integrity
From 2013-17, Columbia Pipeline Group is investing approximately $300 million per year in modernizing its natural gas transmission system. This is in addition to $100 million per year in ongoing maintenance. The modernization project includes:
- Replacing Aging Infrastructure – commencing the replacement of approximately 1,000 miles of existing interstate transmission pipelines, primarily bare steel (400 miles in the first five years);
- Upgrading Natural Gas Compression Systems – replacing and modernizing more than 50 critical compressor units along the pipeline system that will enhance system efficiency and improve environmental performance;
- Increasing Pipeline System Reliability – uprating pressures and looping systems where needed to ensure gas is reliably delivered to critical markets; and Expanding In-Line Inspection Capabilities – facilitating Columbia’s ability to perform state-of-the-art maintenance and inspections without interrupting services.
- CPG expects this five-year program to reduce CO2e emissions by approximately 38,000 metric tons. In 2013, the first year of our modernization program, we reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by 18,634 CO2e. To help better understand and quantify emission-reduction efforts, we are working with our industry associations, research partners and environmental groups in a series of detailed studies designed to improve natural gas emission measurement accuracy and understanding.
For more information on this innovative program, please visit our Modernization page.
In addition to a wide range of safety programs that meet or exceed industry regulations, CPG has implemented an overhauled, industry-recognized pipeline integrity program that has been developed in close coordination with PHMSA. We’re utilizing industry-leading tools including in-line inspections to better identify High Consequence Areas (HCAs) along our system. Further, CPG has implemented an advanced risk analysis tool to prioritize and tailor the assessment of HCAs to mitigate risk, and to identify pipelines for assessment and improvement outside of HCAs as indicated by risk analysis.
Safe Operations Through Innovation
Columbia is partnering with GE and Accenture to integrate technology and data in pipeline integrity and information technology innovation to deploy an industry leading risk tool for natural gas transmission operators. This first-of-its-kind technology will provide additional tools and data for us to evaluate and address any risks to our system. With every additional data point, Columbia will be able to better assess our risks and make informed decisions on replacing or repairing infrastructure and make our system safer.
Learn More about Pipelines in your Area
The National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS) is a geographic information system (GIS) created by the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to provide information about pipeline operators and the pipelines in your area. The NPMS Web site is searchable by ZIP code, county, or state where a printable display of a map for your area is available.
The NPMS does not contain information about gathering or distribution systems. To access the NPMS go to www.npms.phmsa.dot.gov/.