The Transportation Research Board (TRB), in cooperation with PHMSA, recently released the “Guide for Communicating Emergency Response Information for Natural Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines” to aid operators and emergency responders in how to share appropriate content in advance of a pipeline emergency. The TRB, after analyzing recent incidents, found that communication is crucial in the early stages of a pipeline emergency. Recognition of a pipeline emergency, identification of the appropriate pipeline operator, and passing information back and forth from pipeline operators to emergency responders in the field is challenging. Because this communication is so critical in pipeline emergencies, it must be planned prior to an incident. The guide:
- includes the appropriate emergency response content that should be provided to emergency responders;
- recommends effective means of disseminating information from pipeline operators to emergency response organizations and how emergency responders should disseminate it throughout their organization; and
- recommends strategies for implementing and exercising the emergency response plan.