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Natural Gas Pipeline Safety

BGE’s highest priority is safety, and we are committed to maintaining a safe and reliable natural gas system. This includes implementing a Transmission Integrity Management Program that meets federal regulations. We operate approximately 165 miles of transmission pipelines that deliver natural gas to a network of gas mains serving more than 653,000 customers in central Maryland.
 
BGE’s comprehensive integrity management program identifies high consequence areas (HCAs), provides risk analysis of these areas, includes baseline integrity assessments of each transmission pipeline segment, and delineates a pipeline inspection schedule. Identified sites can include places of congregation and locations where there is limited mobility by the occupants of a facility.
 
Ongoing monitoring, maintenance and safety measures for BGE’s pipeline network include:
  • Real time pressure monitoring from our 24/7 control room which maintains the flowing pressure in our system within safe operating guidelines. Pressure regulator stations and overpressure protection devices are maintained throughout the system.
  • Leak surveying of transmission and distribution pipelines through:
    • Aerial inspections of transmission pipeline corridors monitor for obvious signs of leaks.
    • Ground patrols using vehicle-mounted and handheld detectors measure for natural gas levels in the air in the vicinity of pipelines.
  • Corrosion Control teams measure and test cathodic protection on steel pipelines. Cathodic protection involves enabling steel pipelines to resist corrosive effects of surrounding soil.   
  • External Corrosion Direct Assessment excavations are conducted. BGE analyzes collected data and periodically excavates sections of pipeline to directly assess the pipeline integrity and conduct any maintenance or repairs. 
  • Adding mercaptan to make gas detectable by scent, which enables leaks to be detected fast.
  • Participation in the Maryland one-call system to promote damage prevention awareness. Read more about Miss Utility and 811.
  • Inclusion in BGE’s Dig Alert process which requires a BGE damage prevention inspector to monitor work near pipelines and remain at the sites where work is within 10 ft of the pipeline. 
  • Pipeline markers are placed where necessary to indicate pipeline locations. However, never rely on the presence or lack of markers to determine exact locations of underground utilities. For more information, visit the National Pipeline Mapping System website.
  • Vegetation management is conducted on transmission pipeline corridors to make the pipelines visible from the air and open for routine and emergency access. 
  • Hydrostatic pressure testing tests new pipelines during construction. Before a pipeline goes into service, it's filled with water and pressurized to levels exceeding the operational pressure for the pipe.  
If you have additional questions or want to learn more about our pipeline integrity management program, please email BGEPipeline@bge.com.

To report a gas emergency, please call 1-800-685-0123.

 Content Editor

Natural Gas Investments

Read more about specific projects and programs, such as STRIDE and Operation Pipeline, underway now to maintain and modernize BGE's natural gas system.

  
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