Safety is PSE's Top Priority
As the largest natural gas utility in Washington, we understand pipeline safety concerns and employ safe procedures when performing work in the vicinity of pipelines. PSE approaches every project -- from the smallest natural gas service installation to the largest transmission line -- with the same priority: the safety of our customers, the communities we work in, and our fellow co-workers.
For Energize Eastside, PSE will continue to follow all federal and state safety regulations to maintain safety in the corridor. This includes building and operating the project to meet strict federal standards that govern both pipeline and transmission line infrastructure.
PSE and Olympic's infrastructure have safety coexisted in the corridor for decades
The backbone of our transmission system on the Eastside shares a utility corridor with Olympic Pipe Line Company's (Olympic) underground petroleum pipelines. It's been this way for more than 40 years, and co-locating utilities is encouraged by many Eastside jurisdictions.
PSE and Olympic working together
Both PSE and Olympic have a mutual interest in the continued protection and safe operation of facilities in the shared utility corridor. We have a long history of working closely together. This close coordination ensures mutual safety of our infrastructure and of neighbors adjacent to and near the corridor. A few recent examples of working together are:
- In 2007 and 2008, PSE worked with Olympic to replace more than 130 poles and reframe more than 200 poles in this corridor and others.
- In 2015, PSE successfully completed more than 50 geotechnical investigation borings within the existing corridor. Half of these geotechnical borings took place in the vicinity of the Olympic pipeline.
- In June 2016, replaced two poles adjacent to the pipelines to address an imminent safety concern created by the construction of new apartments in Newcastle. We met onsite with Olympic's Damage Prevention Team to review construction activities to help ensure safe construction practices were followed.
Focus on safety in design, construction and operations
Safety is critical to Energize Eastside’s design. Newer technology and strict safety requirements allow PSE to build to the highest safety standards, which our design will meet or exceed. Our engineers are rigorously analyzing the design for Energize Eastside to ensure safe construction and operation of the line within the shared corridor.
We’re working with DNV-GL, a leading national expert in pipeline safety, to assist with developing design parameters to help ensure the safe operation of the co-located utilities. As with all of our projects, our design will meet or exceed industry standards and address seismic activity, high winds, ice and lightning. For example, to protect against lightning, our designs call for grounding the poles and using shield wires to disperse current safely and to avoid affecting the pipelines.
As described in the Phase 1 Draft EIS, construction will entail continued close coordination between PSE and Olympic and no significant adverse impacts related to work near pipelines are expected. The EIS process is led by the City of Bellevue in coordination with the cities of Kirkland, Newcastle, Redmond and Renton. To learn more about corridor safety in the EIS, visit EnergizeEastsideEIS.org.
Review our corridor safety fact sheet to learn more.