Natural Gas Pipeline FAQs

Do you have questions about natural gas, intrastate pipelines and Peninsula Pipeline? View answers to frequently asked questions below.

Natural gas is comprised of hydrocarbon gases, primarily methane (one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms – CH4), and is found far below the earth’s surface, formed from organic material over millions of years.
The natural gas industry is broken down into four main sectors: production, gathering and processing, transmission and distribution. Natural gas transmission facilitates the use of natural gas as a fuel source by establishing a crucial connection between sellers and buyers. Interstate transmission companies transport gas between states. Intrastate transmission companies transport gas within a state.

Production is the process of taking raw natural gas from underground formations.

Gathering and processing involves the removal of impurities, hydrocarbons and fluids to generate natural gas of pipeline quality, typically composed of 95-98% methane.

Transmission is the process of delivering natural gas from wellhead and processing plants to city gate stations or industrial/electric power generation end users.

A natural gas transmission company generally transports natural gas over its mainlines for delivery to end use customers, which use the natural gas in their processes (for example,  industrial customers or electric power generators) or to local distribution companies, which distribute the natural gas to end use customers via low-pressure distribution lines.

Distribution is the process of delivering natural gas from city gate stations to end-users (for example, residential and commercial users).

Most gas lines are buried underground in a vast network of large-diameter transmission and distribution pipes called mains. These mains are located across the United States and allow for seamless delivery from the origin point to the end-user’s delivery point.

Natural gas transporters also maintain compressor stations, metering stations and valves. The Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system provides real-time information about the overall operations of the pipeline.

An intrastate natural gas pipeline is a pipeline that operates within the borders of a single state and transports natural gas from producers to local markets and the interstate pipeline network. There are more miles of pipeline than miles of highway in the U.S., and that they operate every day, unseen and very safely. Our intrastate pipelines are subject to Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) jurisdiction, unlike interstate pipelines which are governed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Visit NGA Hinshaw Pipelines | Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ( to learn more.
  • Intrastate natural gas transportation pipelines are regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
  • Peninsula Pipeline is a natural gas intrastate transmission company subject to the jurisdiction of the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC). Peninsula Pipeline is subject to the rules and regulations of PSC Chapter 25-12.
  • The Natural Gas Transmission Pipeline Intrastate Regulatory Act (NGTPIRA) confers authority to regulate the rates of intrastate pipelines to the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC).
  • The Natural Gas Transmission Pipeline Siting Act (NGTPSA)
  • Establishes a centralized permitting and certification process for the location of natural gas transmission pipeline corridors in Florida.
  • The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is the designated lead agency responsible for processing transmission pipeline certification applications.

Exemptions under the Natural Gas Transmission Pipeline Siting Act

  • Pipelines which are less than 15 miles in length, or which do not cross a county line.
  • Pipelines receiving a 7 (c) certificate from FERC, or a pipeline to an electric plant certified under the Florida Electric Power Plant Siting Act.
  • Pipelines owned and operated by municipalities, local distribution companies (LDCs) or special gas districts.

Peninsula Pipeline (PPC) operates the pipelines that deliver gas to local gas distribution companies. The distribution companies, in turn, deliver the gas to homes and businesses. If you desire natural gas service to your home, contact the gas distribution company in your area.

Our safety record is exemplary, thanks to the dedication of our employees and our commitment to the core values of safety, integrity and excellence. Our gas control and monitoring center operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We regularly patrol our pipeline rights-of-way, and we conduct regular inspections of our pipeline system. Our operations employees receive regular training and are qualified under U.S. Department of Transportation standards for natural gas pipeline operators.

We have decades of experience working with local emergency responders along our pipeline corridors. We provide standard gas industry training for emergency responders to effectively prepare for and respond to natural gas emergency situations. This training is made available to emergency responders responsible for geographical areas in the PPC facility footprint. Equipment/personnel requirements for responding to a natural gas emergency are similar in scope to normal emergency situations. An important role for the emergency responders is to secure a safe perimeter while PPC personnel address the emergency situation.

Pipeline safety is our number one priority. While we are mandated by federal agencies to have emergency response plans and procedures in place, we go beyond what’s required to ensure that we and our local emergency response partners are ready. Local emergency responders are an integral part of our safety team and we work closely with them in developing plans that clearly define roles and responsibilities.

If you suspect a pipeline leak, turn off and abandon any motorized equipment. Leave the area on foot quickly. Warn others to stay away. From a safe place, call the pipeline operator and emergency personnel. Do not use open flames or anything that may spark ignition. Do not attempt to operate pipeline valves. PPC and emergency personnel will assess the situation and take appropriate steps to secure the pipeline if a leak is discovered.

If you detect a natural gas odor, leave the area immediately on foot and then call emergency personnel.

Construction activities are closely monitored to prevent and control fuel leaks and spills. All construction activities are regulated by federal and state agencies, and must have strict spill prevention, control and countermeasure (SPCC) protocols in use.

We continuously monitor and control the pressure at multiple points along our system. When pressures approach maximum acceptable levels, operators in the gas control center are alerted by electronic pressure transmitters placed throughout the system so that appropriate action can be taken. Our gas control and monitoring center operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Maintenance of the remote transmitter system is conducted system-wide on a regular basis.

With proper maintenance and constantly improving operation and maintenance technology, pipelines made of steel can sustain their usefulness for an indefinite period.

The top of a natural gas pipeline is required to be installed at least 36 inches below the ground’s surface when installed. The pipe has a special coating which protects the steel from corrosion, in addition, a small amount of electrical current is applied to the pipeline to help prevent corrosion. This electrical current is maintained at a very low level that will not harm people or animals in the vicinity of the pipeline. We routinely inspect pipelines from above ground using air, foot and vehicle patrols to look for potential concerns or encroachments along the right-of-way.

A pipeline right-of-way is the strip of land over a pipeline. A right-of-way agreement between a pipeline company and property owner is called an easement. Easements provide pipeline companies with permanent, limited interest to the land to enable the company to operate, test, inspect, maintain and protect their pipelines. Although agreements may vary, pipeline companies’ rights-of-way generally extend 25 feet from each side of the pipeline unless specified otherwise.

As a policy, we do not approve of the use of the pipeline rights-of-way as a vehicular trail. Vehicles can damage the earthen cover over the pipeline and in some instances may damage the pipeline itself. If such trails are to cross the pipeline rights-of-way, the trail owner should contact us to coordinate the installation of a crossing that will ensure there will be no impact to the earthen cover of the pipeline.

Pipeline rights-of-way must be kept free from obstructions. If a pipeline crosses your property, do not plant trees or high shrubs on the right-of-way. Additionally, do not dig, store or place anything on or near the right-of-way without first having pipeline company personnel locate and mark the pipeline and explain the company’s requirements for your particular location.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has jurisdiction over the siting of natural gas pipeline facilities. State and local agencies are asked to be part of the siting approval process. We place a strong emphasis on being part of the host community, so we work closely with local officials on siting and construction issues.

A number of federal and state agencies have oversight responsibilities for the various components and functions of pipelines and processing facilities.

  • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regulates issues concerning pipeline siting, pipeline capacity, natural gas quality requirements and gas transportation rates.
  • The U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and their state and local agents provide regulation for the safe transportation of natural gas through pipelines.
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in conjunction with the state and local departments of environment or conservation districts provide erosion and sediment control approvals and inspections.

Colocating the pipeline along existing rights-of-way is always the company’s first choice. Also, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission prefers companies to colocate their pipelines within or adjacent to existing rights of way where possible. But often, colocation is not feasible for a variety of reasons:

  • Existing rights-of-way may not go in the direction the pipeline needs to go.
  • Following existing rights-of-way might require additional easements because the width of the existing right-of-way may not be wide enough for another pipeline.
  • The terrain might be unsuitable for a pipeline, or the environmental conditions may have changed from the time the original right-of-way was established.

In many areas, it is easy to distinguish where pipelines are because of the cleared corridor known as the right-of-way. Since pipelines are buried underground, pipeline companies use line markers to indicate the approximate location of pipelines. The markers are placed where pipelines intersect streets, railroads, rivers and heavily congested areas. Markers indicate the general, not exact, location of a pipeline, but do not indicate how deep the pipeline is buried, or how many lines are in the area. Pipelines do not necessarily follow a straight course between two markers. Never rely solely on the presence or absence of pipeline markers. Always call 811 or your state’s one-call notification service before digging.

If we are going to access private property as part of any maintenance activity, our personnel will normally attempt to contact the landowners/residents prior to entering the property and advise them of the nature of the company’s visit. However, we do conduct unannounced routine activities such as regular mowing, spraying and inspection activity on the right-of-way throughout the year that should not impact private property.

Property values in most communities fluctuate in up and down cycles. Studies of properties near or adjacent to natural gas pipelines suggest that their ups and downs are equal to the same fluctuations in value as compared to properties that are located away from or adjacent to natural gas pipelines.

Natural gas pipelines are the nation’s safest method of transporting energy and delivering large volumes of fuel to local gas distribution companies who ultimately carry gas to homes and businesses.