Why Pipelines are Important to You and Your Community
Pipelines are the safest and most reliable way to transport energy products, including: natural gas, crude oil, liquid petroleum products and chemical products. Pipelines are primarily underground, which keeps them away from public contact and accidental damage. It is also a fact that pipelines can move large volumes of product at a significantly lower operating cost when compared to other modes of transportation. Despite safety and efficiency statistics, increases in energy consumption and population growth near pipelines present the potential for a pipeline incident.
To meet the pipeline industry’s goal of reliable incident-free operation, pipeline operators invest substantial human and financial resources to protect the people, property and environments near pipelines. Damage prevention measures include routine inspection and maintenance, corrosion protection, continuous monitoring and control technologies, public awareness programs and integrity management and emergency response plans. While pipelines are generally the safest method of transporting hazardous chemicals, they are not failsafe. Pipeline product releases, whether in the form of a slow leak or violent rupture, are a risk in any community.
In the unlikely event of an incident near or involving a pipeline, it is critical you know how to respond and are prepared to work together with the pipeline operator’s representatives*. Please carefully read the information provided on this website to become aware of pipelines in your community and how to respond to emergencies.
*The Pipeline Association for Public Awareness (PAPA) is a nonprofit corporation that provides educational information concerning pipeline safety and emergency preparedness for residents and businesses located near pipelines. This is an excerpt from “Pipeline Emergency Response Guidelines”: http://www.pipelineawareness.org/
COMPLIANCE AND AUDITING
Whiting builds compliance programs for health, safety and environmental laws and regulations, along with internal standards by identifying the applicable requirements and putting practices in place to meet them. A central environmental database, integrated with several other Whiting systems, is the core of our compliance effort. It allows us to more adequately track and trend data, accumulate compliance documentation and provide more tools to verify compliance across the entire company.
To balance compliance efforts, Whiting has established an aggressive auditing program involving site inspections, desktop compliance reviews, verification through database tracking, reporting and legal counsel. The goal of this auditing program is to assess compliance of our operations and measure the effectiveness of our EH&S management systems.
Whiting views its contractors as an extension of the company and we take steps to verify our contractors are meeting the Whiting standard. A screening process is completed on all potential contractors to ensure training programs, health and safety policies and work practices meet the criteria set by Whiting. In addition, signage is present at Whiting locations to help reinforce the EH&S expectations and training is offered to align contractors with Whiting’s goal of environmental compliance.
It is clear to Whiting that positive relationships with regulators, the community, peer operators and landowners are critical to operating responsibly. Transparency and honesty are cornerstones of these relationships. We regularly discuss upcoming plans, provide status updates, review regulatory requirements and stay involved in rulemaking processes and maintain a rapport that enhances these working relationships.
We are committed to minimizing our impact to the community and environment. Our two major plays are relatively remote, minimizing any potential adverse community impact. Any complaint received by Whiting is referred to the appropriate department/supervisor and appropriately resolved. We encourage community members to report any potential environmental impacts caused by our activity. To notify Whiting personnel of any observed impact, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, and Whiting personnel will promptly address your concern.
Whiting understands that being a responsible operator is more than reducing air emissions or preventing spills. It is because of this that Whiting has developed an informational program to communicate the importance of being aware of the flora and fauna in the areas in which we operate. Informational brochures, complete with identification pictures, are distributed on an annual basis to personnel, contractors and field offices to help those working at Whiting locations identify threatened or endangered species. Colorado Wildlife and North Dakota Wildlife brochures can be found below. Whiting creates these brochures because we believe that providing guidance on how to avoid sensitive areas is vital to ensuring that Whiting’s disturbance is minimal to the wildlife around us.