RaCERS-authored Guide on Pipeline Emergency Communications Released

Guide for Communicating Emergency Response Information for Natural Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines

January 2015

The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies releases report on planning communications for emergency responders and pipeline operators. The Guide, written by led by RaCERS research faculty and partners Mike Hildebrand and Greg Noll of Hildebrand Noll Associates and Rae Zimmerman.
Emergency responders and local public officials must be provided information about the location of transmission Advisory Board pipelines to enhance emergency response and community growth planning. Affected municipalities, school districts, businesses, and residents must be advised of pipeline locations. However, the procedures that pipeline operators follow are not consistent and the quality of the plans varies. In addition, these emergency response plans sometimes are not shared appropriately with local emergency responders. Pipeline operators and emergency responders need a guide to aid them in how to share appropriate content in advance of a pipeline emergency so that the plan can be quickly and effectively put into operation with assurance that the best steps are taken in correct sequence to bring optimum resolution to the pipeline emergency.

“This project, which brought together a diverse group of pipeline operators, environmental officials, and public safety emergency responders, will help fill a void for the broad group of agencies that must respond to pipeline emergencies. These are complex, high-consequence incidents, but many agencies have limited awareness of the need to plan for communications in advance. We are very pleased that is completed, and thank our collaborators and graduate research assistants who helped through the preliminary research and development of this document.” The Guide was developed following research supplemented with Workshops held in Houston, Texas and Bergen County, New Jersey. The Guide, and a report on methodology and appendices, are available online at http://www.trb.org/Publications/Blurbs/171999.aspx

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