Commitment to Safety

 

Gulf South will ensure the St. Charles Parish Expansion Project facilities are designed, built and operated with safety always paramount.  Gulf South is committed to operating its compressor stations and pipelines safely.  Gulf South’s well-trained employees work hard to ensure the company complies with all rules and regulations.

 

Design and Construction

Gulf South’s pipeline system is designed and built in accordance with the pipeline safety standards established by industry experts and the Department of Transportation (DOT).  Some of the safety measures included in the design and construction of the proposed facilities are:

 

  • Design:  Employing numerous modern technologies and materials, safety will be built into the Project’s compressor station.

  • Construction:  Gulf South’s pipeline and other facilities are monitored by qualified inspectors during the construction process and the St. Charles Parish Expansion Project facilities will be no exception.  Before installation, the pipeline and yard and station piping, gas cooling equipment, and compressor station material will be carefully inspected to ensure that it meets quality standards mandated by DOT.  On-site construction inspectors will then ensure compliance with applicable codes and standards at all phases of the installation.

  • Welding:  All welders on the Project must have passed stringent qualifications tests.  All welds on the piping will be required to pass visual and other non-destructive tests before the facility is placed into operation.

  • Strength Testing:  Before being placed into operation, the pipeline and station piping will be hydro-tested – pressurized with water to a level that exceeds the stress at which the pipeline will operate.  This procedure will ensure the strength and integrity of the pipe before being placed into service.


Safety Systems and Monitoring

Safety Systems will be installed at the Project’s compressor stations, including Emergency Shutdown Systems. Once the St. Charles Parish Expansion Project facilities are in operation, employees in Gas Control will monitor the flow of gas through its compressor stations and pipelines and the operations of its equipment 24 hours a day, 365 days a year using a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) computer system.  This electronic surveillance system gathers such data as pipeline pressures, volume and flow rates and the status of pumping equipment and valves.  Whenever operating conditions change, an alarm warns the operator on duty and the condition is investigated.  Both automated and manual valves are strategically placed along the pipeline system to enable the pipeline to be shut down immediately and sections to be isolated quickly, if necessary, allowing Gas Control operators to react quickly to address an event at the station.

  

Inspections

Periodic inspections of the facilities will help Gulf South detect a potential problem and address it before it becomes an actual problem.  The inspections include surveys for detecting signs of leaks or other problems. Visual inspections of Gulf South’s pipeline right-of-way (ROW) are conducted by air and/or ground on a regular basis.  The right-of-way is a narrow strip of land reserved for the pipeline.  Above ground marker signs are displayed along the ROW to alert the public and contractors to the existence of the pipeline.

  

Operator Qualifications Program

All operation and maintenance personnel must meet industry standards for qualification.  Gulf South’s operators are trained and capable of performing safety and maintenance tasks, recognizing abnormal operating conditions and responding to those conditions.

  

Public Awareness Program

Designed to prevent third-party damage to our pipelines.  Residents and business owners who live along the pipeline ROW are mailed safety brochures to inform them of their proximity to pipelines and to make them aware of pipeline markers.  Additionally, the company is a member of numerous One-Call Centers that serve as a clearinghouse for excavation activities that are close to pipelines and other underground utilities. A national “call-before-you-dig” number, 811, was established by federal law in 2007. Emergency preparedness and planning measures are in place at Gulf South in the event that a pipeline incident occurs. The company also conducts emergency response drills and works closely with local first responders to ensure emergency preparedness.

  

More Safety Information

Interstate Natural Gas Association of America:  www.ingaa.org

Southern Gas Association:  www.southerngas.org

Department of Transportation – Office of Pipeline Safety:   https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/safety-awareness/pipeline/safety-awareness-overview