Failure to ‘Call Before You Dig’ Is a Big Cause of Texas Pipeline Accidents

Jan 22, 2014

Temporary sign marks where gas pipeline is buried along road under construction in Harris County.
Temporary sign marks where gas pipeline is buried along road under construction in Harris County.
Credit DAVE FEHLING / StateImpact Texas

Texas has the most miles of natural gas pipelines.  It also has the most accidents.  Federal pipeline regulators say Texas and Florida give the most exemptions regarding who has to notify a pipeline or utility company before digging according to StateImpact Texas.

According to federal data, 11 percent of serious pipeline accidents were caused by work crews excavating.  Houston-based, CenterPoint Energy distributes natural gas to over three million customers in the Texas region, and says over half of their damaged pipelines were “caused by an excavator failing to Call 811.”