Hydrostatic Testing Program Natural Gas Pipelines




Project Details

ETIC provides environmental compliance services to a major California Public Utility Company for their Pipeline Safety Enhancement Program (Program). The Program is one element which seeks to modernize the company’s gas transmission pipeline system and address new standards and controls being set by the California Public Utilities Commission for all California intrastate natural gas transmission operators.

The Program involves pressure testing segments of gas transmission lines where strength-test records are not available. After being isolated and vented, the pipeline segment is filled with water and pressurized to the test pressure for at least 8 hours. The water used in the pressure test may be contaminated with hydrocarbons, metals, or other contaminants introduced during pipeline operations and testing. The used water is filtered through bag filters and granular activated carbon prior to being disposed to a POTW or land. The Program commenced in 2011, in which ETIC provided environmental planning and field support services for 97 hydrostatic pressure tests for over 152 miles of “priority” pipelines. ETIC has continued to support the Program and services an average of 100 test locations each year spanning the state of California from Arizona to the Oregon border.

Our Approach

ETIC is part of the Program’s Environmental Compliance, Land Rights, and Permits team. ETIC manages the storm water permitting under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Construction General Permit including preparation of Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPPs) and filing of Permit Registration Documents with the four Regional Water Quality Control Boards under whose jurisdiction the Program fell. In addition, ETIC provides Qualified SWPPP Developer and Qualified SWPPP Practitioner services and conducts daily and storm event inspections for storm water compliance. A SWPPP amendment is completed for each test location. ETIC also prepares Leak Response Plans and provides contractor training on the plans to respond to potential hydrostatic test failures. ETIC collects water samples to verify water quality compliance with discharge permits. ETIC also provides environmental inspectors in support of the Program Environmental Compliance Management Plan responsible for compliance with all applicable environmental permits and land agreements. The environmental inspectors review applicable plans, permits, and specifications to assess the work areas before testing began, documented compliance, and acted as a liaison between construction personnel and agency field representatives.

Benefits & Value

ETIC was able to balance the multiple constraints, adhere to a challenging and changing schedule, and maintain flawless environmental compliance throughout the project.

Location: California (Statewide)
Duration of Project: April 2011 – Present

  • Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans
  • Leak Response Plans
  • Hydrostatic Test Water Management
  • Environmental Inspectors