Home > Safety

Pipeline Safety Overview

What We Inspect:

The Safety Division oversees more than 3,100 miles of intrastate pipelines delivering gas to more than 127,500 customers within 53 communities in New Hampshire.  Two natural gas utilities, two transmission operators, over 21 liquid propane gas operators, one propane-air distribution company, one master meter operator, and two methane operators are inspected at least once per biennium, although most are inspected annually.  The Division utilizes 30 natural gas inspection modules with many including customized versions of federal inspection forms to conduct rigorous inspections of operators using a risk based methodology.   

In 2017, New Hampshire expects to complete approximately 200 scheduled staff visits that include a sampling of nearly 1,915 miles of distribution mains feeding 1,212 miles of distribution services supplying approximately 127,500 metered customers.  In addition there are approximately 20 miles of intrastate transmission pipelines within New Hampshire. Areas served include 53 communities having a population base of approximately 800,000.  These figures do not include pipelines served by jurisdictional propane systems.

Click on map for more detail.

Franchise areas and gas pipelines operating at greater than 100 psig are shown on the map at left. These include interstate and intrastate pipeline operators, (distribution and transmission), regardless of state or federal jurisdiction.


The National Pipeline Mapping System has information for interstate gas & hazardous liquid pipelines regulated by the federal government. It is able to show detail down to the county level.



Pipeline Siting

Pipeline Siting within New Hampshire is dependent upon the type, functional use, and location of pipelines.  Typical gas distribution pipelines such as mains and services are often located in public right of ways such as streets and sidewalks and on occasion, private drives.  Local municipalities allow the pipelines, which are public utilities, to excavate via the use of street opening permits issued by the local community.  Restoration restrictions, traffic control requirements, and construction constraints are usually contained within local ordinances of each community. 

Any pipeline, whether it is a service, distribution main, or interstate and intrastate transmission pipeline, needs a state issued license to cross over, under or through a state property such as state owned land, or state owned public water body.  These include FERC and PHMSA regulated pipelines.  Typically a petition is filed with the NH PUC requesting a license and a Commission docket is assigned.  The Safety Division participates in the proceeding and a Commission order determines if a license should be granted and what conditions are applicable.  Recent examples of these crossings are GSGT crossing of Pomeroy Cove DG 16-471, Northern Utilities crossing of Cocheco River in DG 16-489, Liberty Utilities directional drill of the Soucook River in DG 16-223, Gorham Paper’s crossing of the Androscoggin River in DG 11-138.  Commission issued licenses by year can be found here

An exception to this is highway crossings such as bridge crossings and pipelines located in Rights of Way owned and maintained by the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (DOT).  The New Hampshire DOT requires a standard Use and Occupancy Agreement be completed as outlined in the New Hampshire Utility Accommodation Manual.

Large transmission pipelines and compressor stations often fall under the authority of the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC).  By statute, the SEC is comprised of nine members (seven public officials and 2 members of the general public).  Three of the designated seven public officials are Commissioners of the NH PUC.  The SEC maintains a website of all certificates that it issues and has an extensive amount of docket related materials including routing of pipelines.  Examples of previous dockets include Tennessee Gas Pipeline’s compressor station in Pelham, SEC Docket No. 2008-02.  Tennessee Gas Pipeline’s Concord Lateral extension SEC Docket No. 2000-01, Granite State Gas Transmission relocation within Exeter, SEC Docket No. 2014-01.  The Site Evaluation Committee has a set of rules which are applicable to gas transmission pipelines based on the criteria outlined in RSA Section 162-H:10-b. 

Siting of interstate gas transmission pipelines also fall under the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  For more information about interstate pipeline siting, visit the FERC website.

Permitting for LNG facilities used for interstate transportation may fall under the Department of Energy, FERC and PHMSA for siting and design.  Potential LNG siting for off shore applications is very limited in New Hampshire resulting from the small footprint of New Hampshire’s coastline.

The Pipeline Safety Trust has an excellent guide available for landowners to consider when pipelines are potentially sited in the vicinity of businesses and residents. 


General Information
Contact Information
Report Forms
Underground Damage Prevention (Dig Safe)
Underground Damage Prevention Overview
Dig Safe Rules
Dig Safe Laws
Enforcement Program
Overall NH Damage Prevention Statistics
811 Dig Safe "Call before you dig"
Underground Damage Report Forms
Utilities By City/Town
Education and Training
Pipeline Safety
Pipeline Safety Overview
NH Pipeline Mileage Statistics
Pipeline Authorities per NH State Law/
Administrative Rules
Inspection Program
Enforcement Program
Pipeline Safety Program Funding
Accelerated Cast Iron Bare Steel Replacement Programs
Pipeline Safety Incidents in New Hampshire
Regional and National Involvement
Pipeline Safety Rules
Safety Forms
Education and Training
Electrical Safety and Reliability
Electrical Safety and Reliability Overview
Electric Provider Statistics
Electric Franchise Map
Electrical Authorities per NH State Law/
Administrative Rules
Emergency Preparedness & Emergency Response
Emergency Preparedness
Physical & Cyber Security
Engineering Geographic Information Systems, Technical and Analytical Expertise
Engineering, GIS and Other Support

  - Links Disclaimer
An Official Web Site for New Hampshire Government