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800-323-5517
 
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800-767-1689 (24-hour service)

Pipeline Safety:
Awareness & Damage Prevention

 
Click here for phone numbers to report a natural gas leak, suspicious activity or any other pipeline emergency 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


QUESTAR: BRINGING ENERGY HOME SAFELY AND RELIABLY FOR OVER 75 YEARS

At Questar, we take safety seriously. Since its founding in 1929, Questar and its affiliates have engaged in every phase of natural gas service — from production and gathering to transportation and distribution. During that time, while delivering the clean and efficient natural gas our customers rely on daily for their comfort and livelihood, we have earned an enviable record for safety and reliability

Questar's 23,000 miles of gathering, transportation and distribution lines are part of a 1.5-million-mile national underground pipeline network. Most Americans are totally unaware of this vital transportation system that delivers the energy that drives our economy.

Questar's operations, and those of other pipeline companies, are overseen and regulated by the United States Department of Transportation's (DOT) Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) and its state partners. Under standards imposed by DOT, Questar and other pipeline companies together invest millions of dollars each year in training and new technology designed to monitor and continually improve the safety and integrity of their pipelines. These companies also conduct public outreach programs to increase awareness about pipeline safety, as well as potential hazards and how to avoid them through proven damage-prevention practices. The result, according to government statistics, is the safest transportation system in the nation today. Questar and others in the pipeline industry are committed to maintaining and strengthening this reputation for safety.

PIPELINE SAFETY IS BUILT IN

The DOT imposes rigorous standards for pipeline design, construction, maintenance, testing and operation. Questar's policies and procedures are designed to meet and, in most cases, exceed these standards. Our commitment to safety begins before a pipeline is built or expanded. We build safety into our system by:
  • carefully researching and planning the safe construction of each project;
  • using pipe that is inspected and tested at the factory to comply with both federal and industry standards;
  • providing steel pipe with a coating and other measures that protect it from external corrosion;
  • inspecting the integrity of the pipe during construction;
  • testing the finished pipeline at pressures higher than normal operating pressure before it's placed into service;


SAFETY IS MAINTAINED DURING OPERATION

Once a pipeline is built, tested and placed in service, Questar controls and monitors the safety of its system in several ways, including:
  • posting markers with emergency telephone numbers along our rights of way to let the public know underground pipelines are in the area;
  • routinely patrolling our pipeline routes on the ground and from the air to inspect and identify potential problems and assist in preventing third-party excavation damage;
  • performing regular inspection and maintenance of facilities, including leak surveys and safety-device checks on valves and compressor stations;
  • meeting periodically with state and local emergency officials to review accident-prevention and emergency-response procedures;
  • monitoring our system using computers and remote telemetry equipment that detects changes in pressure or flow that might indicate problems. In many cases, such equipment also allows operators to quickly activate emergency shut-down procedures and to dispatch emergency crews in case of a leak, accident or other problem;
  • performing periodic internal inspections on some pipeline sections using "smart pigs" — mechanical devices that travel inside pipelines, checking for anomalies or weaknesses in the pipe that could cause failure.


QUESTAR AND THE PUBLIC: PARTNERS IN PIPELINE SAFETY

America's natural gas pipeline industry maintains an enviable record of safety and reliability. However, despite strict federal oversight and the conscientious efforts of companies like Questar, hazards do exist and emergencies, though infrequent, can occur. Statistics show that the majority of pipeline damage is caused by third parties (construction contractors, property owners, excavators, etc.) digging near buried pipelines. Third-party damage can be prevented by using local excavation notification systems known as One-Call.


CALL BEFORE YOU DIG: USE ONE-CALL SYSTEMS

In the states where Questar operates, the law requires anyone planning to dig or excavate near an underground pipeline to notify a local One-Call Center two working days (48 hours) before beginning work. The One-Call center will notify member utilities that operate buried facilities in the area. A utility representative will determine if the project is near underground facilities and dispatch someone to the work site to clearly mark the route and location of buried cables and/or pipelines.

Questar owns and operates underground pipelines in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and California and participates in the following One-Call Centers:

 LOCATION OF EXCAVATION  NAME OF ONE-CALL CENTER  TOLL-FREE NUMBER
 Arizona  Arizona Blue Stakes  800-782-5348
 California  Underground Service Alert Of California  800-227-2600
 Colorado  Utility Notification Center Of Colorado  800-922-1987
 Idaho  Dig Line  800-342-1585
 208-342-1585
 New Mexico  New Mexico One-Call System  800-321-2537
 Utah  Blue Stakes Center  800-662-4111
 801-208-2100
 Wyoming  One-Call of Wyoming  800-849-2476

NATURAL GAS LEAKS: RECOGNITION AND RESPONSE

Natural gas pipeline leaks or failures are rare, but an informed public can help prevent emergencies and minimize potential damage or injury in the unlikely event of an accident by knowing how to recognize and report pipeline problems.


How to identify a leak

The following signs may indicate a natural gas pipeline leak or failure:
  • a hissing, roaring or blowing sound
  • dirt being blown into the air
  • water being blown into the air at a pond, river or creek
  • continuous bubbling in wet, flooded areas
  • fire at or near exposed piping
  • flames apparently emanating from the ground
  • dead or brown vegetation in an otherwise moist or green field
  • a "rotten egg" odor (Note: In its natural state, natural gas is odorless, as well as colorless and non-toxic. Local utilities such as Questar Gas add a non-toxic chemical odorant called mercaptan to its supplies to make leaks easy to detect by smell. However, odorants are usually added to pipelines only in populated areas, so leaks, especially in open country, cannot always be detected by smell.)


What to do if a leak occurs

Follow these steps if you discover natural gas escaping from a broken or leaking line:
  • turn off all machinery and vehicles and prevent other sources of ignition such as open flames and the operation of electrical switches or cellular phones
  • evacuate everyone from the endangered area and keep vehicles and bystanders away
  • do not attempt to make any repairs or operate any pipeline valves
  • do not attempt to extinguish any fire
  • from a safe place, notify Questar to report a leak or other natural gas emergency by calling the emergency numbers listed below.
  • call 911 or otherwise notify your local emergency response agency such as fire department or law enforcement


How to Locate a Natural Gas Pipeline

For public-safety reasons, most pipelines are buried several feet underground. To make pipelines easier to locate and identify, Questar companies install markers near roads and highways, at rail and river crossings and at other locations along our rights of way. These markers show a pipeline's approximate location and provide emergency-contact telephone numbers. Not all buried lines, especially lower-pressure distribution lines, have markers. Therefore, to more accurately determine the location of pipelines in your area, especially before digging or performing any excavation, contact a local One-Call line-location agency listed above.

Maps showing the general locations of pipelines owned and operated by Questar companies can be seen by clicking on the following links:


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

For additional information about Questar's operations or facility locations, contact:

Questar Pipeline Co.
Questar Southern Trails Pipeline
Questar Gas
333 S State Street
P.O. Box 45360
Salt Lake City, UT 84145-0360

Telephone:
Questar Gas Customer Care: 801-324-5111
Questar Pipeline Co. Operations Center: 801-324-4400
Questar Southern Trails Pipeline: 307-382-8882

For information about Questar's Public Awareness Programs contact:
Questar Corporate Communication Department: 801-324-5548

A list of pipelines in the United States, including a directory that identifies pipeline operators in any given area by entering a Zip Code, can be found on the Web site of the DOT's National Pipeline Mapping System at www.npms.rspa.dot.gov/ .

Web sites for One-Call centers in states where Questar companies operate can be found using the following links:
Arizona http://www.azbluestake.com
California http://www.digalert.org
Colorado http://www.uncc.org
Idaho http://www.digline.com
New Mexico http://www.nmonecall.org
Utah http://www.bluestakes.org
Wyoming http://www.onecallofwyoming.com

The Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) is an excellent source of information on pipelines and pipeline safety in particular and the natural gas industry in general. INGAA's Web site can be found at www.ingaa.org. Additional information about the natural gas industry is provided by the American Gas Association at www.aga.org.

Visit the Office of Pipeline Safety's Stakeholder Communications Web site.

 

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