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Ohio Pipeline Awareness > Ohio > Integrity Management Programs
Maintaining Safety And Pipeline Integrity
Both hazardous liquid and natural gas transmission pipeline operators are required to develop and implement comprehensive integrity management programs. An integrity management program is a set of safety management, analytical, operations, and maintenance processes that are implemented in an integrated and rigorous manner to assure operators provide protection for High Consequence Areas (HCAs). While the rules provide some flexibility for an operator to develop a program best suited for its pipeline system(s) and operations, there are certain required features – called “program elements” – which each integrity management program must have. The core integrity management program elements include:
Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Parts 195.452 and 192, Subpart O, have four basic objectives:
High Consequence Areas
Although there are differences between natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines for determining an HCA, the basics are similar. Both types of systems have rules in place to identify locations along their pipelines where a failure might impact an HCA. Natural gas transmission line HCAs are basically based upon population density, while hazardous liquid pipelines include urban areas, as well as environmental considerations such as commercially navigable waterways, drinking water, and ecological resources.
Pipeline operators invest significant time and capital maintaining the quality and integrity of their pipeline systems. Most active pipelines are monitored 24-hours a day via manned control centers. Pipeline companies also utilize aerial surveillance and/ or on-ground observers to identify potential dangers. Control center personnel continually monitor the pipeline system and assess changes in pressure and flow. They notify field personnel if there is a possibility of a leak. Automatic shut-off valves are sometimes utilized to isolate a leak.
Gas transmission and hazardous liquid pipeline operators have developed supplemental hazard and assessment programs known as Integrity Management Programs (IMPs). IMPs have been implemented for areas designated as HCAs in accordance with federal regulations. Specific information about an operator's program may be found on their company web site or by contacting them directly.