Pipelines that transport hazardous materials are ubiquitous in the United States, crossing under water and over land from densely populated areas to the most remote uninhabited locations. Current regulations (49 CFR §192.615, 192.616, 195.402, and 195.440) require pipeline operators to develop emergency response plans and implement public awareness programs. Under these regulations, pipeline operators must provide the affected public with information about how to recognize, respond to, and report pipeline emergencies. Emergency responders and local public officials must be provided information about the location of transmission 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.
The objective of this research is to develop a guide for natural gas and hazardous liquid pipeline operators and emergency responders that (1) includes the appropriate emergency response content that should be provided to emergency responders; (2) recommends effective means of disseminating this guidance by pipeline operators to recipient emergency response organizations and by those emergency response organizations to sub-units; and (3) recommends strategies for implementing and exercising the emergency response plan.
(1). Summarize current federal and state, and representative local and tribal, regulations and ordinances governing emergency response plans for natural gas and hazardous liquids pipelines. (2). Identify and describe lessons learned and best practices from recent (since 1994) significant U.S. pipeline emergencies with respect to communicating the emergency response plans and their effectiveness. (3). Develop a failure mode and effect analysis of the process for disseminating, exercising, and implementing emergency response plans for natural gas and hazardous liquids pipeline incidents. The analysis should include the roles and responsibilities of both pipeline operators and emergency responders.(4). Within 6 months of contract award, prepare an interim report for review by HMCRP that provides (a) the results of Tasks 1 through 3; (b) an outline of the guide for natural gas and hazardous liquid pipeline operators and emergency responders; (c) a list of 40 subject matter experts and users for the Task 6 peer exchange; and (d) a draft agenda for the peer exchange. (5). Prepare the draft guide for review by HMCRP. The contractor will meet with the HMCRP approximately 1 month later to discuss the guide and the Task 6 peer exchange.(6). Validate the guide by designing and conducting a 1-day peer exchange at the National Academies Beckman Center in Irvine, California (including invited participants and panel members). HMCRP will be responsible for all meeting and hotel logistics, travel expenses for participants, confirmation of attendance, and expenses related to meals and lodging. The contractor will be responsible for (a) covering all other costs, such as contractor team travel, invitations, agenda, electronic presentations, and handout materials and (b) surveying other stakeholders who did not attend the peer exchange.(7). Based on the results of Task 6, revise the guide as needed, identify strategies to address gaps and constraints in the guide, develop dissemination scenarios for the guide, and recommend strategies/scenarios for implementing and exercising emergency response plans.(8). Prepare a final report documenting the entire research effort and the stand-alone guide for natural gas and hazardous liquids pipeline operators and emergency responders that (a) includes the appropriate emergency response content that should be provided to emergency responders; (b) recommends effective means of disseminating this guidance by pipeline operators to recipient organizations and by those recipient organizations to sub-units; and (c) recommends strategies for implementing and exercising the emergency plan.