Emergency Response

You may contact LOOP at its emergency number:

1-800-820-5667


How To Recognize A Pipeline Leak







In the unlikely event of a pipeline leak, typically, one or any combination of these helps you recognize a leak:

Sight: You may notice dark brown spots on the ground, dead vegetation or an oily sheen on top of the ground or floating on the surface of a body of water, which may indicate the presence of a leak in a crude oil pipeline system.

Sound: You may hear a bubbling sound.

Smell: Crude oil vapors are heavier than air and therefore hover and travel low to the ground. In cases of sweet crude oil release, you may notice a sweet petroleum smell. Sour crude oil has higher levels of sulphur and has a more distinct odor of rotten eggs.


Potential Hazards Crude Oil Pipeline Release

Crude oil is an extremely flammable commodity. Therefore, there is potential for a crude oil release to escalate into a fire or an explosion that could affect persons and property in the vicinity of the pipeline.


How You Should Respond To And Report A Pipeline Emergency

The following guidelines are designed to ensure your safety and the safety of those in the area if a crude oil pipeline leak is suspected or detected.
  • Leave the area immediately, moving upwind of the product release.
  • DO NOT breathe the released product or make contact with the product or pipeline components.
  • DO NOT create any sparks with matches, lighters, switches, battery powered devices, etc.
  • DO NOT drive a vehicle near the area of the release.
  • After moving away from the location of the oil release, call LOOP’s emergency number at 1-800-820-5667 and notify emergency response personnel by calling 911.
  • DO NOT operate any pipeline valves. Leave all valve operation to pipeline company personnel.
  • DO NOT put out any fires that are burning at the pipeline.

How Does LOOP Respond To An Emergency

To prepare for an incident, LOOP regularly communicates plans and trains with local emergency responders. Upon the notification of an incident or leak, LOOP will immediately take steps to minimize the amount of product compromised and dispatch trained personnel to assist emergency responders. LOOP personnel and emergency responders are trained to protect life, property and facilities in the case of an emergency. 

LOOP conducts emergency drills at all operating locations to test its emergency response plan and to practice emergency response activities in order to assure effective emergency preparedness. Annually, LOOP
coordinates an exercise of its full Emergency Response Team with local, state and federal agencies and officials to promote familiarity and training among all parties that would be involved in a response to a pipeline incident.
If a pipeline incident is suspected, LOOP will immediately shut down its pipeline and route emergency response personnel to the scene to assess the situation and to minimize any public safety or environmental impact. The
LOOP Emergency Response Team will be available to isolate or shut down any pipeline system facilities, respond effectively to the incident and communicate with local emergency response and public officials.


Emergency Response Preparedness Tools and Important Information:


There are many tools available for Emergency Responders to be prepared and understand pipeline and utility incident risks. In addition, having coordinated and prepared emergency response plans with pipeline operators leads to a more effective response. Please contact your local pipeline operator(s) for more specific information. Contact information can be found in the participating pipeline operators section of this booklet.



The National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS)
  • The NPMS can be accessed at www.npms.phmsa.dot.gov.
  • Web based mapping tool produced by PHMSA that allows users to view maps and basic information about natural gas and hazardous liquid transmission pipelines in the U.S.
  • Basic information can be accessed including operator name, pipeline diameter and commodities transported including pipeline location.

PHMSA’s Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG)
  • Access information about the ERG at http://phmsa.dot.gov/hazmat/library/erg
  • Produced by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)
  • The ERG provides the following information:
Basic overview of pipeline types, associated structures and markers / Leak indications / Safe and Effective response fundamentals / Product information / Initial isolation zone and downwind distances

Pipeline Emergencies Training First responders may be eligible for continuing education credits.

Effective communication and coordination between emergency responders and the pipeline operator is important for successful management of pipeline incidents. LOOP maintains a highly trained Emergency Response Team and Fire Brigade that can reach any location along its pipeline with response equipment within 1 hour of notification. The Team is fully trained on crude oil response for any release, fire or other emergency resulting from a pipeline incident. LOOP primarily relies on local emergency responders for backup support, any necessary evacuations, and insuring the safety of the public.

For an effective response please deploy the following actions:
  • Securing the area and perimeter of the incident by restricting traffic and if necessary informing people in the area to evacuate or stay inside their homes
  • Employ National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command Center (ICS)
  • Provide Medical Assistance
  • Contact the applicable pipeline operator and communicate any of the following information:
    • The name and contact information of the caller
    • The location of the incident
    • Existence of primary (at the pipeline) or secondary fires
    • Characteristics of the release (noise, quantity of crude oil, etc.)
    • Other site specific concerns (dry conditions, overhead power lines, etc.)
Never attempt to operate pipeline valves; this could prolong/worsen an incident/cause another leak in the pipeline.

For Public Officials:

There are many tools available for Public Officials and their communities to help mitigate and understand pipeline risks.  Please feel free to contact LOOP for more specific information at (985) 276-6100.



PHMSA Community Assistance & Technical Services Community Assistance & Technical Services (CATS)
  • Mission: advance public safety, environmental protection, and pipeline reliability by facilitating communications among the public, pipeline/utility operators and public officials
  • Responsibilities include:
    • Communication information to help communities to understand pipeline/utility risks
    • Creating effective communications among all stakeholders
    • For more information
http://primis.phmsa.dot.gov/comm/CATS.htm?nocache=5472 Pipeline and Information Planning Alliance (PIPA)

The Pipeline and Informed Planning Alliance (PIPA) is a department of the
PHMSA and has the goal of reducing risks and improve the safety of affected communities and pipeline operation through a set of recommended practices related to land use. LOOP Safety Booklet