Natural gas is the cleanest-burning of all fossil fuels that powers industries and heats more than half of all American homes.
When a natural gas deposit is located, a well is drilled to bring the gas to, or close to, the earth's surface where it is pumped to a processing plant. Natural gas travels from the processing plant through large underground pipelines. These pipelines are designed, constructed, maintained and operated in accordance with Department of Transportation regulations.
MidAmerican Energy proudly serves 765,000 natural gas customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota. We safely operate 13,420 miles of natural gas systems, including 12,720 miles of natural gas distribution lines and equipment.
Distribution Integrity Management
The focus of MidAmerican Energy's Distribution Integrity Management Program is to minimize physical risk to its natural gas distribution pipeline facilities and to protect the public, employees and the environment from natural gas distribution pipeline incidents.
MidAmerican Energy’s program elements include:
- Knowledge – Demonstrate an understanding of its gas distribution system developed from reasonably available information.
- Identify Threats - Consider the following categories of threats to each gas distribution pipeline: Corrosion, natural forces, excavation damage, other outside force damage, material, weld or joint failure, equipment failure, incorrect operation, and other concerns that could threaten the integrity of its pipeline.
- Evaluate and Rank Risk – Evaluate the risks associated with its distribution pipeline, determine the relative importance of each threat, and estimate and rank the risks posed to its pipeline.
- Identify and Implement Measures to Address Risk - Determine and implement measures designed to reduce the risks from failure of its gas distribution pipeline, including effective leak management.
- Measure Performance, Monitor Results and Evaluate Effectiveness - Develop and monitor performance measures from an established baseline to evaluate the effectiveness of its integrity management program.
- Periodic Evaluation and Improvement - Reevaluate threats and risks and consider the relevance of threats in one location to other areas.
- Report Results - Report, on an annual basis, measures to the Department of Transportation and to applicable state pipeline safety authorities as required under 49 CFR § 192.1007 and state regulations.
Transmission Integrity Management Program
The Transmission Integrity Management Program focuses on minimizing physical risk to MidAmerican Energy’s natural gas transmission pipeline facilities. The program helps ensure that risks associated with natural gas transmission pipeline integrity are effectively managed and that the public, MidAmerican Energy's employees and the environment are better protected from natural gas transmission pipeline incidents. The processes and procedures set forth in this program apply to natural gas transmission pipelines located within high consequence areas where a natural gas pipeline incident could have significant impact on people, business or the environment.
The program was mandated by the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and is part of federally mandated rules designed to improve the safety of natural gas transmission systems. It consists of five elements:
- Integrity Management Plan – Processes and procedures followed to ensure compliance with the Gas Integrity Management Rule. The plan establishes procedures for identifying high consequence areas; gathering, reviewing and integrating data; performing risk and integrity assessments; applying appropriate preventative, mitigation and remediation measures; and assigning reassessment intervals to continually evaluate the integrity of covered segments.
- Performance Plan – Processes and procedures used to measure the effectiveness of the program by MidAmerican Energy.
- Communications Plan – Processes and procedures for communicating Performance Plan results.
- Management of Change Plan – Identifies and considers the risk impact of technical, physical, procedural and organizational changes to the natural gas transmission pipeline systems.
- Quality Management Plan – Processes and procedures established to ensure the requirements of the program are being met, documented and continually improved.