Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who is Gulf Crossing Pipeline Company LLC?
Gulf Crossing is a new interstate natural gas pipeline originating near Sherman, Texas, and proceeding to the Perryville, Louisiana area. Our pipelines carry natural gas used for industrial, commercial, and residential purposes, including to heat homes and fuel appliances in the Midwest, Northeast, Southeast, and Florida through interconnects with Texas Gas, Gulf South, and unaffiliated pipelines. As the owner and operator of an interstate natural gas pipeline in this region, Gulf Crossing transports natural gas through approximately 350 miles of pipeline.
2. Where are pipelines located in my area? How can I learn whether your pipeline is located on my property?
Please visit the National Pipeline Mapping System at www.npms.phmsa.dot.gov for maps that show transmission pipelines located in your area. If you need more precise information on the location of our pipeline facilities, contact us at (713) 479-8099. In addition, before performing any digging activity on your property, you are required by state law to make the necessary One Call notifications by dialing 811. If we operate pipelines on your property, we will arrange to have a company representative show you where our pipeline facilities are located on your property.
3. What are my rights as a landowner with respect to using the land where the pipeline crosses it?
The land over and around the pipeline is called the right-of-way or easement area. Typically, the right-of-way is 50 feet in width, with 25 feet on either side of the pipeline. A landowner s right to use the right-of-way is governed by its right-of-way agreement, along with all applicable state and federal laws.
In order to protect the pipeline and the landowner, there are restrictions on the use of the right-of-way by the landowner. Generally, landowners are prohibited from constructing or installing buildings, trees, roads, or sidewalks within the right-of-way. Roads and sidewalks are sometimes allowed to cross the right-of-way pending company review, approval and the proper agreement being entered into between the company and the landowner. Some landscaping is allowed, but Gulf Crossing does not normally pay for damages to such landscaping if it is damaged during maintenance or construction activities. Generally, seasonal crops may be planted over the pipeline right-of-way (see question 5 below for more information about crops). Contact your local representative for details.
4. How close can I plant trees to the pipelines?
Trees are not normally allowed within the pipeline right-of-way because they can damage the integrity of the pipeline and limit the ability of the company to operate and maintain the pipeline.
5. Can crops be planted over a pipeline right-of-way?
As a general rule, seasonal crops may be planted over the pipeline right-of-way so long as they do not interfere with or restrict the company s ability to operate and maintain its pipeline and the right-of-way.
6. Do your pipeline personnel notify landowners/residents when they are going to enter the property?
Company personnel may attempt to notify landowners or residents when entering private property for routine maintenance and patrol on the right-of-way. When non-routine operations are to be performed on a landowner s/resident s property, landowners/residents will typically be notified prior to personnel entering the property.
7. Does gas transported in your pipelines have a rotten egg smell?
Natural gas is odorless unless an odorant is added to the gas. The odorant commonly added to natural gas, Mercaptan, has a smell resembling that of rotten eggs. Local distribution companies, which supply gas to personal residences, typically are responsible for adding this odorant so their customers can detect the presence of natural gas in the air.
Gulf Crossing is an interstate natural gas transmission pipeline company which supplies gas to local distribution companies, who in turn add the odorant and supply gas to your home. The gas transported in Gulf Crossing pipelines is generally odorless.
8. How do I report missing or destroyed pipeline marker posts?
A pipeline marker, usually a small post, is a device used to mark the path of a pipeline and provide emergency contact information. Gulf Crossing pipeline markers are placed along the pipeline right-of-way. If you discover any of our pipeline markers are missing or have been destroyed, please contact Gulf Crossing at (713) 479-8099. Willful destruction or removal of pipeline markers is a violation of federal law subject to a fine of up to $5,000 and/or a term of up to 1 year imprisonment (49 CFR 190.229.d).
9. How do I know where the pipeline is? Who do I call to locate a pipeline before I dig?
In many areas the pipeline route is easy to distinguish because the right-of-way is a clear corridor. Within the right-of-way are pipeline marker posts that can be easily seen. Generally, pipeline marker posts are located directly over the pipelines as near as practical. However, that is not always the case and you should not rely on the markers to determine the exact location of the pipeline. Pipeline marker posts can be found, among other locations, at road crossings, usually on both sides of the road.
If any digging or other type of earth disturbance is planned, you are required to make the necessary One Call notice by dialing 811 three to ten days in advance of the disturbance. After Gulf Crossing receives notice of your call, Gulf Crossing will mark the location of its pipelines for free. In some instances, we will plan to be present when the excavation begins.
10. How do I turn off the gas outside our house if there is a leak?
If you feel the situation involves imminent danger, from a safe location, call 911 or your local public safety officials and describe the location and the situation. If you know the leak is on one of our pipelines, you should also report the leak to Gulf Crossing by calling 1-800-626-1948. Gulf Crossing s telephone number can also be located on our pipeline marker post or pipeline sign. Give your name, the location, and a description of the leak.
- Do not make the telephone call from inside the house if a leak is detected there.
- Turn off and abandon vehicles and equipment in the immediate area of the leak.
- Avoid open flames or other sources of ignition. Do not light a match and do not start motor vehicles or electrical equipment near the suspected leak.
- Evacuate the area on foot and warn others to stay away from the area.
- Do not attempt to extinguish a natural gas fire. Call Gulf Crossing and 911.
Gulf Crossing emphasizes you should not attempt to operate any valves or other pipeline devices on our pipeline system. Only qualified company personnel should conduct these activities. Improper operation of our pipeline devices could cause the situation to become more serious. Furthermore, the valves and/or the fence gates are locked for the public s safety and to avoid unauthorized operation of the facilities.
11. How soon does your pipeline company respond once the emergency phone number is called? How fast can your company isolate the affected pipeline?
Gulf Crossing continuously monitors operating pressure at thousands of locations along the pipeline from its Gas Control Center. Technical experts and control center operators are continually evaluating and analyzing the data they are receiving and will often be aware of a pipeline event before receiving any calls. If an event arises, qualified personnel are dispatched to the site and other strategic locations immediately. Reporting a pipeline event to the emergency phone number can assist the company to know the exact location of the event.
12. Are the maintenance vehicles identifiable as belonging to your company?
Our maintenance vehicles have signs on the doors with the name of Gulf Crossing as well as its parent company, BOARDWALK PIPELINE PARTNERS, LP . There are times when a contractor may be utilized and their company name will be listed on the vehicle door.
13. Are there certain times that your operations and maintenance is conducted?
Gulf Crossing personnel generally conduct routine operations and maintenance activities during daylight hours Monday through Friday. However, there are some activities that require immediate attention which may require the company personnel to be in your neighborhood during the night, weekends and/or holidays.
14. What federal, state, or local agencies regulate the pipelines?
The following are a few of the agencies that regulate our pipelines:
- The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulates such things as gas transportation rates, pipeline capacity, pipeline siting and natural gas quality requirements.
- The U.S. Department of Transportation s (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and their state and local agents provide regulations for the safe transportation of natural gas through pipelines.
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the state environmental protection agencies provide regulations for protection of the environment during the construction and operation of pipeline facilities.
- The U.S. Department of Labor s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides regulations to assure we provide a safe workplace for our personnel.
- The U.S. Department of the Interior s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) regulates pipelines located offshore.
15. Could you provide me with the one-call phone number for my state? When do I need this number?
The national One Call number is 811. When you call, you will be connected with your state agency immediately. If any digging or other type of earth disturbance is planned, dial 811 three to ten days in advance of the disturbance. After Gulf Crossing receives notice of your call, Gulf Crossing will mark the location of our pipelines for free. In some instances, we will plan to be present when the planned activity begins.
16. What does Gulf Crossing do in an emergency?
In the event of a leak or other emergency involving our pipeline, our personnel are fully prepared to respond and coordinate their efforts with public safety officials. Our main concern is the safety of the community and the response team. Once all safety issues are addressed, we begin steps to protect property. After the incident, we assess any property damage, preserve the integrity of the site, and work closely with local, state, and federal agencies to determine the cause of the incident and appropriate remedial measures.
17. What do the Gulf Crossing emergency response plans cover?
The plans outline the steps to be taken in the event of a fire, rupture, major leak, or serious incident occurring at or near one of our facilities. The plans are developed to prepare our employees and local emergency response personnel to handle emergency situations involving our facilities and to protect the public. The plans outline the roles and responsibilities of company, contractor, and local emergency response personnel. Communication and cooperation with local organizations are key components in the initial development and revision of these plans.