Enmark Energy is committed to public safety, protection of the environment, and operation of its facilities in compliance with all applicable rules and regulations. The majority of its pipelines fall under the regulatory oversight of the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). The company is proud of its safety record and follows many regulations and procedures to monitor and ensure the integrity of its pipelines.
Pipeline operating conditions are monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by personnel in control centers 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 equipments 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 shutdown immediately and sections to be isolated quickly, if necessary.
Visual inspections of Enmark Energy's pipeline right-of-way 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 right-of-way to alert the public and contractors to the existence of the pipeline.
Internal inspections are conducted periodically by passing sophisticated computerized equipment called "smart pigs" through most of our pipelines to confirm the wall thickness of the pipe.
Cathodic protection is a technology designed to protect pipelines from external corrosion through the use of an electrostatic current. The small electrical charge is applied to our pipelines, which have an external protective coating.
Enmark Energy's public awareness program is designed to prevent third-party damage to its pipelines. Additionally, the company is a member of numerous "call-before-you-dig" programs or "one-call" systems across the United States, which are designed to help the public, contractors and others identify the location of pipelines before excavation or digging projects to prevent damage to pipelines and protect the public. The leading cause of pipeline accidents is third-party damage caused by various types of digging and excavation activities.
Emergency preparedness and planning measures are in place at Enmark Energy in the event that a pipeline incident occurs. The company also works closely with local emergency response organizations to educate them regarding our pipelines and how to respond in the unlikely event of an emergency.
Pipelines are the most efficient and safest method by which to transport and deliver natural gas and petroleum products, and they are inherently safer than other modes of transportation such as rail, barge and truck. While the amount of natural gas and petroleum being used in the U.S. continues to increase dramatically, the industry's safety performance in recent years has improved significantly and serious accidents are rare. Pipelines help ensure a plentiful supply of natural gas to heat homes and businesses and generate electricity; gasoline to operate our cars and trucks; fuel oil to power industry and heat homes; and jet fuel for our nation's commercial and military aircraft.