Responding to a Pipeline Emergency

Responding to a Pipeline Emergency

Responding to a Pipeline Emergency

The top priorities in responding to a pipeline emergency are the safety of the public and the protection of the environment.

Click on the link for Tesoro Logistics emergency contact information.

The following guidelines are designed to ensure the safety of those in the area if a pipeline leak is suspected or detected:

  • Secure the area around the leak to a safe distance. Because vapors from the products carried in pipelines can migrate great distances, it is important to remove all ignition sources from the area. If safe to do so, evacuating people from homes, businesses, schools and other places of congregation, as well as controlling access to the site, may be required in some incident scenarios. Sheltering in place may be the safest action if the circumstances make going outdoors dangerous.
  • Evacuate or shelter in place. Depending on the level of chemical or product, and whether or not the product was released, or other variables, it may be necessary to evacuate the public or have the public shelter in place. Evacuation route and the location of the incident will determine which procedure is required, but both may be necessary. Evacuate people upwind of the incident if necessary. Involving the pipeline company may be important in making this decision.
  • If the pipeline leak is not burning:
    • DON’T initiate any open flame or other potential source of ignition such as an electrical switch, vehicle ignition, light a match, etc.
    • DON’T start motor vehicles or electrical equipment.
    • DON’T ring doorbells. Knock with your hand to avoid potential sparks from knockers.
    • DON’T drive into a leak or vapor cloud at any time.
  • If the pipeline leak is burning, attempt to control the spread of the fire, but:
    • DON’T attempt to extinguish a petroleum product fire. When extinguished, petroleum products collect and explode if reignited by secondary fire.
    • DON’T attempt to operate any pipeline valves yourself. You may inadvertently route more product to the leak or cause a secondary incident.
  • Establish a command center. Work with Tesoro Logistics representatives as you develop a plan to address the emergency. Tesoro Logistics will need to know:
    • Your contact information and the location of the emergency
    • Size, characteristics and behavior of the incident, and if there are any primary or secondary fires
    • Any injuries or deaths
    • The proximity of the incident to any structures, buildings, etc.
    • Any environmental concerns such as bodies of water, grasslands, endangered wildlife and fish, etc.