An operator’s Pipeline Safety Management System (Pipeline SMS) serves as the umbrella framework with specific management systems, including integrity, emergency response, leak detection and construction, subordinate to it ultimately forming a holistic approach to safety through metrics and implementation requirements. These Recommended Practices (RPs) are all fit-for-purpose and flexible enough for those new to management systems as well as those with existing, sophisticated ones. They are also scalable to allow operators large and small to benefit. View the mission and objectives, guiding principles, relevant documents and the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle by clicking on the management system below.

Integrity Management Program

The goal of any operator is to maintain pipeline integrity to prevent adverse effects on the environment and the public, with the ultimate objective being zero incidents. The guidance in API Recommended Practice (RP) 1160, Managing System Integrity for Hazardous Liquid Pipelines, provides a framework for an effective integrity management program, which helps focus resources on prevention activities that effectively identify actual and precursor events that can result in other incidents, provide a comprehensive means for examining risk and selecting the appropriate activity to reduce risk and track system performance using continuous improvement. This RP is intended for pipeline operators.

Emergency Response Program

Operators conduct an efficient and safe emergency response in the event of an incident or spill. The guidance in API Recommended Practice (RP) 1174, Onshore Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Emergency Preparedness & Response, provides a framework for an effective emergency response, ensuring a response is carried out safely and help reduce potential environmental impacts through enhanced efficiency, consisting of six fundamental steps. The RP is intended to align industry, government and emergency response organizations’ expectations, practices and competencies.

Leak Detection Program

Pipeline operators maintain a robust leak detection program to facilitate appropriate actions to prevent adverse impacts to infrastructure, the environment, and public safety. The guidance in API Recommended Practice (RP) 1175, Pipeline Leak Detection – Program Management, provides the needed framework to develop sound practices within a pipeline company. This RP provides liquid pipeline operators with guidance on developing, implementing and managing a sustainable Leak Detection Program to minimize the size and consequences of leak events. While the focus is on liquid pipeline operation, the RP can be extended to gas pipeline operation.

Construction Quality Management System

Operators ensure there is a focus on effective quality management during the building of a pipeline through an organized framework, often referred to as a Construction Quality Management System, or QMS. All this effort helps to mitigate the chance for an issue, such as a leak, to arise either during start up or years later because of a poor construction practice. If there is a focus on increasing quality assurance during construction, then the chance for a leak or rupture is decreased significantly, progressing towards the industry’s goal of zero incidents. The guidance in API Recommended Practice (RP) 1177, Recommended Practice for Steel Pipeline Construction Quality Management Systems, establishes minimum processes for companies that own and operate pipelines, as well as those that construct them. While RP 1177 is intended for pipeline operators, external stakeholders, including the public and regulators, were engaged in the development of this best practice.