New pipeline avoidance guidelines published

Construction of an underwater gas pipeline 3d illustration. Credit: Alexyz3d/Getty Images

The Council for Dredging and Marine Construction Safety (CDMCS) has released Pipeline Incident Prevention, a recommended guidelines for dredging near underwater gas and hazardous liquid pipelines, incorporating damage prevention and emergency response protocols for the US Army Corps of Engineers navigation channels.

“Fifteen months ago we all agreed that the dredging and pipeline industries lacked mutual best practices for preventing pipeline incidents, and then we all agreed to do something about it,” said Michael Gerhardt, managing director of the CDMCS and Pipeline Task Force director. “Well, I’m proud to say that we did exactly what we said we were going to do and in the time frame we said we’d do it.”

“Today, we are delivering an extremely valuable safety resource to the public and have designed it for active use in the field. Any contractor that dredges or performs marine construction operations in the vicinity of underwater pipelines should consult this best practices guide and share it deep within its company at all levels of management.”

The document contains guidance on accurately locating pipelines and obtaining accurate co-ordinates, identifying leaks and responding effectively, collaborating with all necessary parties in the event of a leak, and their contact details.

“What is exceptional about this guide,” Gerhardt continued, “is that it was developed not only by professionals working in the industry, but also by professionals regulating the industry. This 360-stakeholder involvement shaped a first-of-its-kind best practices guide that the CDMCS is very proud of.”