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Deactivated gas line inspection program

Puget Sound Energy project

 
 
 

2017 project updates

  • PSE’s crews have completed over 6,000 site inspections as of mid-November 2017.
  • PSE crews began inspections in summer 2017.
 

Project overview

As part of our commitment to the safe operation of the natural gas system serving our communities and families, PSE will inspect up to 40,700 deactivated natural gas pipelines throughout our service area. We are committed to confirming our retired natural gas services were properly deactivated. PSE will accomplish this through comprehensive identification, inspection and remediation practices.

Project background

This deactivated gas inspection and remediation program is part of a settlement agreement that arose during the Greenwood complaint proceeding at the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) (Docket PG-160924).  On June 19, 2017, the WUTC approved the settlement agreement. PSE partnered with WUTC pipeline safety staff to develop the comprehensive inspection and remediation program and is implementing the program according to the terms of the settlement agreement.

Inspection program

Now that the WUTC approved the settlement, PSE is implementing the Deactivated Gas Line Inspection program.  The objective of this program is to identify, inspect and remediate natural gas services to:

  • Confirm the retired natural gas services within our service area were properly deactivated
  • Evaluate active above ground services to help ensure they are not susceptible to damage such as tampering or vandalism

We may inspect up to 40,700 deactivated pipe locations throughout our service area. These locations are prioritized into four groups:

​Group ​General description ​Number of locations ​Max. months to complete
​1 ​Services retired between 2000 and 2010 (period when contractor who did Greenwood work was PSE's service partner) and located in business districts. ​3,060 18​
​2 ​Services retired between 2000 and 2010 throughout our service area prioritizing schools, hospitals, public buildings and high-occupancy structures. ​10,907 ​24
​3 ​Services retired prior to 2000 prioritizing schools, hospitals, public buildings and high-occupancy structures. ​15,131 ​36
​4 ​​Services retired after 2010 prioritizing schools, hospitals, public buildings and high-occupancy structures. ​11,691 ​72
 

Inspection process

Inspections will be performed by natural gas workers specifically trained to inspect deactivated natural gas services. At each identified location, the field worker will visually inspect the property for any deactivated gas line above ground, walking around the property in question with minimal disruption to property owners or neighbors.

If an improperly retired gas service is found, it will be fixed within 10 days of acquiring needed permits if gas is present or within 90 days if no gas is present. We will keep the property owner informed of the timing and scope of the repairs.

General gas safety 

Safety is our top priority when it comes to designing, constructing, operating and maintaining the natural gas system serving more than 800,000 PSE customers. At PSE, we know our customers, employees and the communities we serve expect to live and work around a safe and reliable natural gas system. When improving and operating our system, we follow or exceed strict federal and state safety requirements related to pipeline safety. Click here for more information on natural gas safety. 

How does natural gas get to my home or business? 

Natural gas is a fossil fuel composed almost entirely of methane. Interstate pipelines transport natural gas to regional natural gas systems, where it is metered and delivered through a network of local mains, service lines and, ultimately, to customer homes and businesses. View How Natural Gas Gets to You for more information. 

Committed to keeping you informed 

PSE will continue to provide updates as the program progresses. We'll notify property owners where work is required and keep them informed of the progress. We aim to complete this work with as little disruption as possible.