Quick Start Guide Natural Gas Utilities


Snow & Ice Issues

Why Address This Issue? Heavy snow and ice storms with the potential to compromise aboveground natural gas infrastructure can occur almost anywhere in the continental U.S. Although these storms are most common in the North and West, utilities everywhere need to be prepared to respond to emergency situations. Federal regulations require natural gas operators to inform the public of possible hazards relating to snow accumulation on pipeline facilities. The regulations stress the importance of monitoring the potential impact of snow accumulation on these facilities as well. Damage to natural gas service meters and pressure-regulating stations may result from stresses imposed by the additional load of snow or ice as well as the impact of snow or ice falling from roofs. Moisture accumulations in equipment and snow/ice blocking regulators or relief valve vents can prevent them from functioning properly. In addition, exhaust and combustion air vents for natural gas appliances must be clear of snow and ice to prevent CO accumulation in buildings or to prevent operational problems for the combustion equipment. Snow and ice damage is a common danger that has little public awareness. In areas where snow and ice are a normal part of winter, a Public Safety Communications Program at the start of the heating season can alert customers to the dangers. Because snow and ice storms can hit even where they are not expected, all utility companies should have a program ready for implementation following major storms.


Developing a Public Safety Communications Program

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