Xcel Energy

Pipeline Safety

Xcel Energy has its own Transmission Integrity Management Program (TIMP) and Distribution Integrity Management Program (DIMP), which each operating company uses to address the specific risks indentified for its area and which the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) mandates. TIMP rules are prescriptive and extensive but can be summarized into several simple points:

  • Know your pipeline assets
  • Understand the threats against your assets
  • Be proactive in addressing the threats against your assets

DIMP rules require operators of distribution pipelines to continually identify and assess risks on their distribution lines, to remediate conditions that present a potential threat to pipeline integrity, and to monitor program effectiveness. Instead of imposing prescriptive requirements for DIMP, PHMSA concluded that requirements for operator-specific programs to manage pipeline system integrity would be more effective given the diversity in distribution systems and the threats to which they may be exposed.

We are committed to having knowledgeable, experienced, trained personnel regularly inspect our pipelines for any potential leaks or anomalies. The design, construction, operation, inspection and maintenance of our operating pipelines are subject to state and federal regulations, including the Congressional Pipeline Inspection, Protection, Enforcement and Safety Act of 2006.

We review publicly available data, that the pipeline industry reports to the PHMSA, with the continued goal of reducing public safety incidents and taking proactive steps to prevent such similar incidents.

Third-party excavation damage continues to be the biggest threat to our natural gas distribution mains. We continue to heavily promote the “Call Before You Dig” campaign that uses the national three-digit number, 8-1-1. We continually reinforce the message to anyone planning to dig near our pipelines the need and importance of always calling 8-1-1 before digging. Since 2008, we have reduced damages to our underground facilities by almost 30 percent. Preventing dig-ins is a corporate goal and is tracked and measured as part of our Public Safety Index.

When building gas pipelines, we consistently meet or exceed national standards for construction and safety and work closely with local emergency responders to ensure there is a safe, coordinated response in the event a pipeline incident should occur.

See our public safety index measures.

Read more about pipeline safety.

About the Report

We published our first corporate responsibility report (formerly known as the Triple Bottom Line report) in April 2005, with the contents covering the 2004 calendar year, and we have published a similar report in each following year. Our report is based on Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G3 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, the most widely used sustainability reporting framework in the world. Additionally, we incorporate the GRI’s Electric Utilities Sector Supplement indicators wherever possible.

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About the Report