General Customer Service Info:

(716) 686-6123 (NY)
(814) 871-8200 (PA)
outside these calling areas:
1-800-365-3234

Gas Emergencies:

1-800-444-3130
24 hrs./day, 7 days/week

Pipeline Safety

National Fuel has been building and operating natural gas pipelines for more than a century. Our highest priority is the safety of our customers, employees and the communities we serve. We are proud of our safety record and have a well established culture of continuous improvement in all aspects of safety. To that end, we consistently meet or exceed safety targets established by various regulators and spend millions of dollars annually on system improvements and maintenance.

Federal and state pipeline safety codes require that utilities and pipeline operators comply with extensive requirements for design, construction, testing, inspection, and operations and maintenance for all facilities up to and including customer meters. In carrying out our responsibilities it is important that we communicate with all stakeholders involved in or affected by pipeline safety.

Public Education and Public Awareness Programs

National Fuel's pipeline public awareness programs are designed to enhance public safety by increasing the public's knowledge of pipeline locations and safety issues. By sharing information with property owners, businesses, excavators, emergency responders, public officials and other interested parties, National Fuel endeavors to raise the awareness of our pipeline facilities and help the public better understand the role they can play in pipeline safety.

Click here for a brochure on Natural Gas Pipeline Safety to review printed material on public awareness and pipeline safety.

Click here for additional pipeline awareness information and resources through the Northeast Gas Association's Public Awareness website.

Click here for information on the downward trend of pipeline leaks.

Smell Gas? Leave Fast!

Although leaks on natural gas pipelines are infrequent, it is always important to be observant for signs of a leak and to know the appropriate steps to take when a leak is suspected.
  • Recognizing natural gas leaks
    • There are several indicators of natural gas pipeline leaks:
      • Smell: Recognizing the odor – which is similar to rotten eggs.
      • Sight: Seeing a white cloud, mist, fog, and bubbles in standing water or blowing dust.
      • Sound: Hearing an unusual noise like roaring, hissing or whistling.
  • If you think you hear, smell or see a leak…
    • Immediately leave the area in an upwind direction.
    • Call National Fuel’s 24/7 emergency response number at 1-800-444-3130
    • NOTE: If you believe that an elevated response is required due to the scope or size of the incident, call 911 and relay this information when you notify National Fuel.
    • Turn off and abandon any motorized equipment and move to a safe location.
    • Warn others and form a safe perimeter. Evacuate surrounding structures as needed.
    • Avoid creating sparks or sources of heat which could cause gas to ignite and burn. Do not light a match, start an engine, use a phone or light flares.
    • Avoid driving into the suspected leak area.
    • Avoid direct contact with escaping gas because physical injury can occur.

Contractor Safety and Natural Gas

It is imperative that contractors and excavators use caution and work safely around natural gas pipelines or other facilities. The following steps are important for any excavation work:
  • Always "Call Before You Dig" - Call 811, the toll-free hotline, a few days before any excavation project and your call will be routed to a local One Call Center. Local utilities will mark any underground lines in the area of your excavation, and you will be able to proceed safely.
  • Be aware of pipeline markers like the one pictured on this page. While this is NOT a substitute for calling 811 before you dig, these markers identify the general location of pipelines.
  • Developers and excavators are encouraged to read National Fuel's Encroachment manual prior to the development of any construction plans. These manuals explain right-of-way agreements, encroachment agreements, construction requirements and other valuable information.
    • Click here for National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation Encroachment manual.
    • Click here for National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation Encroachment manual.
    • Click here for Empire Pipeline Encroachment manual.
  • In the event you damage a pipeline during excavation or otherwise suspect a gas leak, immediately turn off any motorized or powered equipment and get away from the immediate area. Promptly call National Fuel's emergency number at 1-800-444-3130. Do not attempt to repair a leak yourself.
  • For more information on excavation damage prevention, Click here to view the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) Best Practices. National Fuel has also developed guidelines for contractors and excavators who are working around National Fuel pipelines.
    • Click here for the National Fuel New York Contractor Excavation Guide.
    • Click here for the National Fuel Pennsylvania Contractor Excavation Guide.
    • For additional information, please contact the National Fuel Damage Prevention Coordinator for your state.
      • New York: (716) 827-5539
      • Pennsylvania: (814) 871-8499

How can I tell where a pipeline is located?

Here are examples of markers that signify where natural gas pipelines are buried.
Since most pipelines are buried underground, pipeline markers as pictured here are used to indicate their approximate locations along routes. They cannot be relied upon to indicate the exact position of pipelines. The markers can be found where pipelines intersect streets, highways or railways.

Any markers should display the material transported in the line, the name of the pipeline operator, and a telephone number where the operator can be reached in the event of an emergency. If you're unsure, CALL US at 1-800-365-3234.

Click here to identify the location of pipelines in your area by accessing the National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS) Public Viewer. If you have a need for more precise information on the location of the pipeline facilities, contact us at 1-800-365-3234 and arrangements will be made to have a company representative show you where the pipeline facilities are located.

Information for Developers & Planning Boards

While new developments and pipelines can safely coexist, it is extremely important to thoroughly consider natural gas pipelines when developing building or construction plans. To promote responsible land development near pipelines, the Pipeline and Informed Planning Alliance (PIPA) has developed recommended practices for property developers and planning boards on building safely near natural gas pipelines. National Fuel encourages all stakeholders within its service territory to become aware of and implement the PIPA Recommended Practices where appropriate.

The following steps are important when developing building or construction plans:
  • Always determine the location of natural gas pipelines when developing design plans. Call 811 to obtain information on the location of pipelines prior to developing any building or construction plans.
    • Consider implementing the PIPA Recommended Practices when developing building plans near pipelines.
  • Familiarize yourself with National Fuel’s encroachment manuals. These manuals explain right-of-way agreements, encroachment agreements, construction requirements and other valuable information for developers looking to begin the design phase.
    • Click here for National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation Encroachment manual.
    • Click here for National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation Encroachment manual.
    • Click here for Empire Pipeline Encroachment manual.
    • For more information on National Fuel’s encroachment policies, please contact National Fuel’s Land Department.
      • New York: (716) 857-7091
      • Pennsylvania: (814) 871-4640
  • Contact National Fuel with information on planned projects that could impact our pipelines, well in advance, especially planned public improvement projects, including road reconstruction and sewer and water line replacement or installation.
    • Projects that involve grade changes within road right-of-way, drainage, full-depth road reconstruction, paving and restoration beyond the curb line may involve replacement of our facilities and require 6 to 12 months advance notice for National Fuel to design, bid and construct new facilities. For more information, please contact National Fuel's Engineering Services Department at (716) 857-7967.
  • Provide National Fuel’s Contractor Excavation Guide to your contractors and inspectors and urge them to enforce proper excavation practices during construction. Following these guidelines can greatly reduce the risk of damages and their consequences.
    • Click here for the National Fuel New York Contractor Excavation Guide.
    • Click here for the National Fuel Pennsylvania Contractor Excavation Guide.

Information for First Responders and Emergency Management Agencies

First responders (e.g. police, firefighters and emergency medical personnel) may confront natural gas safety hazards when responding to emergencies. First responders must be prepared for varying levels of incidents that could involve natural gas. National Fuel’s goal is to help first responders work safely in emergencies where natural gas facilities are involved.
The following information will help first responders prepare for such events.
  • The location of natural gas pipelines.
    • National Fuel provides a system map of company facilities to emergency management agencies for both New York and Pennsylvania.
    • The National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS) is a web-based mapping tool which provides detailed maps and basic information about pipelines by commodity for each state and county in the United States.
    • Pipeline markers indicate the presence and approximate location of natural gas pipelines. Pipeline markers should display the material transported in the line, the name of the pipeline operator, and a telephone number where the operator can be reached in the event of an emergency. National Fuel can always be reached 24/7 in the event of an emergency at 1-800-444-3130.
  • An emergency response plan.
    • There are many things to consider when developing an emergency response plan that protects people, property and the environment.
    • The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the National Association of State Fire Marshalls (NASFM) produced Pipeline Emergencies, which includes an updated training manual, related videos and instructor guides which are tailored to the needs of first responders.
    • The Energy Association of Pennsylvania (EAP) created a guide, Gas Control in Emergency Situations that is designed for firefighters, police and emergency personnel who are called to fires related to natural gas or to buildings where gas odors may be present.
    • AEGIS, a mutual insurance company which provides liability and property coverage, and risk management services to utility and energy companies, offers several videos for first responders dealing with electric and natural gas hazards.
      • Click here to view or order the following videos:
        • Electric: Recognizing and Avoiding the Hazards
        • Natural Gas: Recognizing and Avoiding Hazards I
        • Natural Gas: Recognizing and Avoiding Hazards II
  • Formal training on how to properly handle a natural gas emergency.
    • National Fuel sponsors free training to first responders and emergency management agencies in our service territory. For more information or to see if your agency qualifies for free training, contact National Fuel’s Risk Management Department at (814) 871-8248 or utilize the contact information below:
      • For New York: Click here or contact Professional Utility Services at (716) 912-3295.
      • For Pennsylvania: Click here or contact Fire Investigative Technologies at (814) 806-4369.
    • National Fuel conducts periodic emergency drills and onsite meetings at operating facilities with local EMA's.
      • For more information, call (814) 837-9585 (ext. 228).
    • National Fuel contracts with Paradigm Liaison Services to conduct annual pipeline safety and natural gas related emergency response training.
      • Click here to access the Paradigm meeting schedule in your area.
  • If a potential gas leak has been reported to your agency…
    • Immediately notify National Fuel at our 24/7 emergency number, 1-800-444-3130, if you suspect the incident involves National Fuel facilities. If you are unsure who the pipe belongs to, call your State One Call Center at 811 and they can provide a list of pipeline operators in the area.
    • NOTE: If you believe that an elevated response is required due to the scope or size of the incident, please relay this when you notify National Fuel.
    • Once on site:
      • Warn others and form a safe perimeter. Evacuate surrounding structures as needed.
      • Avoid creating sparks or sources of heat which could cause gas to ignite and burn. Do not light a match, start an engine, use a phone or light flares.
      • Avoid driving into the suspected leak area.
      • Do not shut off any valves unless directed by National Fuel personnel.
      • Coordinate with other utilities to shut off electric power and telephone lines to a home or neighborhood to eliminate potential ignition sources.
      • Protect people first, property second.

For more information on pipeline safety, click on any of the links below.

For more information about natural gas safety in your home, click here.

For more information about natural gas safety in your business, click here.