On May 23, 2005, OPS published the following advisory bulletin, which was prompted by an NTSB investigation into a pipeline tank failure and fire involving electrical transmission wires:
To: Owners and Operators of Natural Gas and Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Facilities in the Vicinity of Electric and other Utilities.
Subject: Preplanning with owners of electric and other utilities for coordinated response to pipeline emergencies.
Purpose: To advise operators of pipeline facilities located near electric and other utilities of the need to preplan emergency response with the owners of those electric and other utilities to ensure better coordination of response, and reduced damages, when a pipeline emergency occurs.
Advisory: Operators of pipeline facilities are required to plan emergency response before an emergency happens. The regulations include required elements of emergency plans and procedures. In planning emergency response, an operator should carefully look at the environment surrounding the pipeline facility and the risks that the environment will pose in the event of a pipeline emergency. Electric and other utilities may pose sources of ignition or may provide additional fuel for fires. The operations of these utilities may make response to a pipeline emergency by firefighters or the pipeline operator more difficult. Preplanning with these utilities will help the operator identify issues that may arise in responding to pipeline emergencies and plan effective response before there is an emergency. This will improve the coordination of emergency response and reduce delays.
OPS advises pipeline operators to include within their emergency response planning outreach to owners of electric and other utilities in order to preplan and coordinate response to pipeline emergencies.