Pipeline Safety Program

Mission

The mission of the Pipeline Safety Program at the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) is to ensure the safe construction, operation, and maintenance of intrastate natural gas pipelines in Wisconsin. This is accomplished through education, inspection, enforcement, and investigation of incidents. Our ultimate responsibility is protecting the public and the environment from the dangers of natural gas in transportation.

The Program inspects approximately:

  • 22 gas operators including 11 utilities
  • 3 liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities
  • 70,000 miles of gas pipelines
  • 25 Master Meter operators
  • 2 million customers served

Background

The Wisconsin Pipeline Safety Program is a Federal Program under the direct responsibility of the U.S. Department of Transportation. The Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act gave jurisdiction over all gas pipeline safety in the U.S. to the Secretary of Transportation. However, it also provides that any state with a law comparable to the Pipeline Safety Act in scope and intent could enter into an agreement with the Secretary of Transportation to carry out safety enforcement in that state. The Wisconsin legislature passed the Wis. Stat. § 196.745 and gave the PSC jurisdiction over all intrastate gas pipeline safety in Wisconsin except propane distribution systems.

The Wisconsin Administrative Code for the PSC establishes pipeline safety standards in the state at least as stringent as the Federal Regulations.

Interstate pipelines are regulated by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).

Inspections

The Wisconsin Pipeline Safety Program evaluates all natural gas pipeline system operators under Wisconsin jurisdiction to verify compliance with the requirements of the Wisconsin Administrative Code Chapters PSC 133, 134, & 135 and the Federal Minimum Safety Standards under 49 CFR Parts 191, 192, 193, & 199 as applicable.

The types of inspections and investigations include:

  • Operation and Maintenance Plan
  • Records Inspection
  • Public Awareness Plan
  • Anti-Drug and Alcohol Plan
  • Emergency Plan
  • Operator Qualification Plan
  • Distribution Integrity Management Program Plan
  • Integrity Management Program Plan
  • Control Room Management Plan
  • Damage Prevention Plan
  • LNG Inspection
  • Construction Inspection
  • Regulator Station Inspection
  • Field Inspection
  • Excavation Damage Complaints
The results of these investigations are viewable in Docket Search under Pipeline Safety Enforcement.

Siting

Interstate pipelines proposals are reviewed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Intrastate natural gas pipelines and facilities construction, installation, or use may require authorization or notification of the PSC if the project meets the criteria in Wis. Admin. Code § PSC 133.03.

There may be more state and local organizations that need to be involved or contacted for some projects including the WI Department of Natural Resources and others.

Transmission Pipeline Map

The National Pipeline Mapping System Public Viewer provides maps of natural gas and hazardous liquids transmission pipelines. Note: this does not include distribution mains or service lines.

Diggers Hotline

Diggers Hotline is Wisconsin's one-call (811) system used to allow individuals, contractors, and operators to dig safely by contacting utilities in the area and marking the location of underground utility lines. See additional information on the PSC page for Diggers Hotline.