Incident Response Tactics

Implement the following steps when you respond to a pipeline incident.

1. Assess the situation:

  • Approach with caution from upwind location
  • Isolate and secure the area
  • Employ ICS
  • Identify hazards
  • Identify and contact the pipeline operator using the emergency number listed on the pipeline marker

2. Protect people, property & the environment:

  • Establish isolation zones and set up barriers
  • Rescue and evacuate people, if needed
  • Eliminate ignition sources
  • Stage apparatus and equipment based on atmospheric monitoring and weather conditions
  • If liquid products are involved, use appropriate defensive Hazardous Waste Operations & Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) procedures such as installing dikes and dams, if trained and equipped.
  • Control fires, vapor and leaks. Do not extinguish burning fires. Protect exposures and coordinate isolation operations with pipeline personnel.
  • Do not operate (open or close) valves or other pipeline equipment
  • Employ containment techniques if personnel are trained, equipped and it is safe to do so
  • Designate a safe location for bystanders and the media

3. Call for assistance as needed:

  • Contact your local emergency response organization and/or national resources if needed

Refer to PHMSA’s Emergency Response Guidebook for additional information.