Kern River is committed to safety and believes it is an integral part of the company's performance. Kern River's policy is to meet or exceed all applicable local, state and federal safety laws and regulations in the construction and operation of its pipelines and facilities.
Pipelines are the safest form of transportation, according to National Transportation Safety Board and Department of Transportation statistics. Without pipelines, energy products such as gasoline, diesel, natural gas and propane would have to be transported by truck, rail and waterways at a much greater risk to the public and the environment.
The safety of interstate pipelines is regulated by the Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. The DOT imposes a broad range of rigorous standards and inspection requirements for pipeline design, material specifications, construction standards, and maintenance and testing requirements.
Kern River Builds Safety into Our Pipelines Before a pipeline is built or expanded, Kern River researches and plans to ensure the safe construction and operation of the system. Kern River builds its pipelines with welded steel pipe. Pipeline representatives inspect the pipe at the steel mills during fabrication to ensure its quality meets or exceeds federal, industry and Kern River standards. During construction, Kern River representatives inspect the construction of the pipeline and related facilities. The welds linking the pipe joints are tested to ensure integrity. Once the pipeline is in the ground, but before it is in service, it is hydrostatically tested. This means the pipeline is pressure-tested with water in excess of its operating pressure to ensure the line's ability to withstand operating conditions.
How We Keep our Pipelines Safe and Reliable During Operation Special protective coatings and cathodic protection systems are used to prevent corrosion (rust). Markers are placed along Kern River's rights of way to indicate there is a pipeline in the area. Trained personnel – both on the ground and in the air – regularly inspect Kern River's pipelines against third-party excavation damage. Trained crews perform periodic maintenance inspections on all facilities, including integrity assessments, leak surveys, and valve and safety device checks. Kern River representatives meet regularly with local emergency responders to review emergency response procedures. Kern River strives to keep its pipeline rights of way clear of trees, fences, structures and debris to allow easy identification and monitoring of facilities. Kern River monitors its pipelines 24 hours a day, 365 days a year using computer, telecommunications and satellite technology. Kern River's equipment can detect changes in pressure or flow. Dispatchers can quickly activate emergency shutdown procedures if they detect a problem.