Pipeline Safety is serious business for Frontier.
Pipelines are the only practical means of transporting natural gas. Frontier operates about 300 miles of gas transportation and distribution pipelines. These are part of a 1.5-million-mile national underground pipeline network. Most Americans are unaware of this vital transportation system that delivers about 25% of the energy that drives our economy.
All gas pipeline companies are subject to regulation by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) and state agencies. Frontier operations are regularly inspected for DOT by the Kentucky Public Service Commission.
DOT requires Frontier and other pipeline companies to monitor and continually improve the safety and integrity of their pipelines. Each company has programs to qualify its workers and keep them substance-free, to increase public awareness about pipeline safety, and to avoid hazards through damage prevention. Because of DOT oversight, gas pipelines are the safest transportation system in the US.
Pipeline Safety from the Beginning
The DOT has rigorous standards for pipeline design, construction, maintenance, testing, and operation.
Every new Frontier facility is designed to meet or exceed DOT requirements. Frontier uses DOT-qualified plastic and steel pipe, meters and equipment. We coat and protect all steel pipe from corrosion. We use only qualified pipe welders and joiners. We inspect all pipe during construction and test the completed project at least to 150% of its normal operating pressure.
Once in service, the entire Frontier system is operated, maintained and monitored under the DOT regulations. Our extensive Operations and Maintenance plan details the DOT requirements. We check corrosion protection on steel lines. We check for leaks and abnormal conditions along each line. We mark our transmission pipelines with permanent yellow signs with contact numbers. We locate our lines on request and watch for unauthorized third-party excavators. We operate each valve and check pressure regulators and safety devices. We meet with local safety officials to review emergency response procedures and we place ads and mailers to educate the public about gas safety. We have remote pressure monitors and a 24/7 response center to quickly respond to any leak, accident or other reported emergency.
All of these are part of Frontier's written Operations and Management accident prevention and emergency response procedures to comply with DOT regulations.