Kern River is committed to safety and believes it is an integral part of our company's performance. Our policy is to meet or exceed all applicable local, state and federal safety laws and regulations in the construction and operation of our 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, maintenance and testing.
We Build Safety into Our Pipelines
- Before a pipeline is built or expanded, we research and plan to ensure the safe construction and operation of the system.
- We build our pipelines with welded steel pipe. Our pipeline representatives inspect the pipe at the steel mills during fabrication to ensure the quality meets or exceeds federal, industry and Kern River standards.
- During construction, our 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 our rights of way to indicate there is a pipeline in the area.
- Trained personnel – both on the ground and in the air – regularly inspect our pipelines for third-party excavation damage.
- Trained crews perform periodic maintenance inspections on all facilities, including integrity assessments, leak surveys, and valve and safety device checks.
- Our representatives meet regularly with local emergency responders to review emergency response procedures.
- We strive to keep our pipeline rights of way clear of trees, fences, structures and debris to allow easy identification and monitoring of facilities.
- We monitor our pipelines 24 hours a day, 365 days a year using computer, telecommunications and satellite technology. Our equipment can detect changes in pressure or flow. Dispatchers can quickly activate emergency shutdown procedures if they detect a problem.