In December 2002, President George W. Bush signed into law the Pipeline Safety Bill H.R. 3609, the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002. One of the provisions of the act required the Secretary of Transportation to issue regulations defining integrity management programs, prescribing the standards for conducting a risk analysis, and requiring the adoption and implementation of an integrity management program for natural gas transmission pipelines.
In May 2004, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued an amended final rule requiring natural gas pipeline operators to develop integrity management programs for the gas transmission pipelines located in areas of residential, commercial and public use.
To develop an approach for pipeline safety, Washington Gas created an Integrity Management Program (IMP) that is continually refined and meets or exceeds the intent of the integrity management regulations.
Transmission Integrity Management Program:
Ensures the integrity of Washington Gas’ transmission pipelines regulated by the Department of Transportation.
Distribution Integrity Management Program:
Ensures the integrity of Washington Gas’ distribution pipelines.
Safety and Pipeline Integrity
At Washington Gas, safety is our highest priority.
Our distribution and transmission network is routinely subject to rigorous inspection, maintenance and oversight within the company and at the federal and state level. It's especially important to adhere to a federal pipeline integrity management rule that requires periodic pipeline inspections and repairs as necessary.
Washington Gas implements a wide range of safety programs, including:
- Participation in excavation damage prevention initiatives;
- Installing above ground markers to indicate the location of buried gas lines;
- Performing visual inspections and leak surveys of our system to identify potential problems;
- Maintaining rigid requirements for qualification and inspection of construction techniques used in our system; and
- Supporting research and development focused on inspection technologies, pipeline integrity, corrosion prevention and construction techniques.
Customers can help in our safety efforts.
We always encourage our customers to call 911 and 844-WASHGAS -- and select option 1 to reach the Emergency Leak Line -- when they suspect a natural gas problem or leak. Our operators are on call 24/7 and Washington Gas will respond immediately to any suspected natural gas leak.