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Pipeline and community safety

Our goals are simply stated – no accidents, no harm to people, and no damage to the environment
Pipelines are everywhere. From the gas line coming into your home to the pipelines transporting product across the country. Our number 1 priority is safety. Ensuring the safety of our employees, customers, contractors and your community is critical. Click on the tabs below to learn more about what you can do to help maintain the safety of your community by identifying and preventing pipeline emergencies. 
How to identify pipelines

Since pipelines are buried underground, line markers are used to indicate their approximate location along the route. The markers can be found where a pipeline intersects a street, highway or railway.


The markers display the product transported in the line, the name of the pipeline operator ad a toll-free number where the operator can be reached in the event of an emergency.


Pipeline markers are important to public safety. It is a federal crime for any person to willfully deface, damage, remove or destroy any pipeline sign or right-of-way marker.

Preventing pipeline emergencies

Planning a home improvement job? Planting a tree? Installing a fence or a deck? WAIT! Here's what you need to know first: Whether you are planning to do it yourself or hire a professional, smart digging means calling 811 before each job.


Digging without calling can disrupt service to an entire neighborhood, harm you and those around you, and potentially result in fines and repair costs.


One easy phone call to 811 starts the process to get your underground utility lines marked for free. Once your underground lines have been marked, you will know the approximate location of your utility lines and can dig safely. Always call 811 before a digging project!

Recognizing a pipeline leak

If you suspect a leak has occurred, the American Petroleum Institute suggest that you look for the following warning signs:


  • Sight – Look around the pipeline area. Visually, a leak could appear as an accumulation of liquid on the ground near the pipeline, or a dense white cloud of fog over the leak location. Spots of discoloration among otherwise green vegetation surrounding the pipeline may also indicate a leak.
  • Sound – Listen for an unusual noise coming from the pipeline. A leak can make a hissing or a roaring sound, depending on the magnitude of the leak.
  • Smell – Detecting an unusual odor could be an indication of a pipeline leak. A liquid petroleum leak will be accompanied by a strong scent. Each liquid petroleum product has its own characteristic odor.
Responding to a pipeline leak

If you know or suspect that a pipeline is leaking or damaged, your personal safety and the safety of those around you should be your first concern. You should follow these steps:


  • Leave the area immediately.
  • Avoid direct contact with the escaping liquids.
  • Avoid driving into vapor clouds.
  • Avoid creating sparks or sources of heat which could cause liquids or vapors rising from them, to ignite and burn. For example, do not light a match, start an engine, use a telephone or even switch on/off an electric light.
  • Turn off any running machinery (engines).
  • Call the local emergency response (911).


Remember, even a scrape or a dent to a pipeline needs to be reported to bp Pipelines (North America). If not promptly repaired, it could result in a future leak or serious accident.

Landowner information

The ability to transport one of our vital resources without damaging our environment is a unique advantage of pipelines. bp pipelines takes pride in its relationship with the people and their land throughout our system. Our efforts to maintain the pipeline routes and facilities include continuous monitoring of the system.


Our pipelines are monitored through a combination of systems and safety programs. Experienced pilots regularly fly over the pipeline routes. Where aerial patrols are restricted, we make periodic visual ground inspections. Also, computerized systems report and record the line pressures and the status of the operating equipment 24 hours a day to our manned control center. We comply with all state and federal regulations to ensure the safe operations and maintenance of our pipelines. In addition to physical operation and maintenance of the pipelines we also maintain the necessary ROW agreements for the pipelines.


The bp pipelines Land and Right-of-Way (ROW) department is responsible for activities related to the acquisition, divestment or modification of real estate agreements associated with bp Pipeline facilities.


Through negotiations with landowners, highway departments, and other government entities this department acquires, maintains or disposes of company interests for the pipelines, pump stations and storage terminals. Typical transactions include securing new easement, lease or license agreements and release of/or modification to existing agreements. Also, this department supervises the settlement of damage claims resulting from routine maintenance, repair projects and other pipeline construction activities. The ROW department is responsible for the ongoing maintenance of documents and agreements associated with real estate interests in pipeline operations.


Inquiries related to ROW agreements or damage claims and the bp pipelines system can be submitted by email to bpPipelinesROW@bp.com.

The pipeline industry is regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of Pipeline Safety and is one of the most highly regulated industries. bp pipelines (North America) adheres to the highest standards of safety and has taken comprehensive steps to meet and exceed current state and federal pipeline safety and environmental regulations. 


Below are some examples:


  • The industry participates in the One-Call system alerting excavators to the location of pipelines before digging.
  • The industry has initiated and implemented the use of a comprehensive risk-management system that continuously monitors the hundreds of factors affecting pipeline operations.
  • The industry utilizes computerized sensors called "smart pigs" that check pipelines for corrosion or defects to prevent leaks.
  • Companies in the industry have operations control centers that monitor their pipeline operations 24-hours a day.
  • The pipeline industry adheres to the highest standards of safety, continuously monitoring hundreds of factors affecting operations.