Important information for public officials
Avista works closely with fire, police, and public officials to ensure public safety around our natural gas and electric facilities. If you have Avista facilities in your area, your employees traverse our natural gas areas, or you provide mutual aid, this information is for you.
Hitting a gas or electric line can result in serious safety hazards, fires, property damages, costly repairs, and fines in Washington, Idaho, and Oregon. Gas leaks or power outages also cause a wide-range of inconveniences to the public, including utility service outages and closed streets. It places a strain on emergency personnel, as well.
We would also like to remind our partners in safety to review and update your emergency response plans frequently.
In the event of an emergency involving an Avista Utility facility, please call our 24-hour number immediately: 1-800-227-9187. An Avista representative will be dispatched to the incident area. In the event of a major emergency, Avista will implement its Emergency Plan to ensure the area affected is safe for people and property prior to restoring service.
If a public works project includes any type of excavation, your department or agency is required by law to call 811 or visit http://call811.com/ at least two business days before you dig. See our excavator brochure for more information. These brochures can be ordered for your city and contract crews for free by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note: with the new Dig Law that if damages occur while breaking the 811 Dig Law, a penalty may be imposed in addition to the repair costs.
Every year, Avista offers training to fire, police, and public officials in our service territory to coordinate emergency response for natural gas and electric incidents. Avista employees have been trained on the Incident Command System (ICS). We periodically perform emergency response drills and may coordinate these drills with other emergency agencies.
Avista posts yellow markers along our right of way to clearly identify the presence of our underground transmission pipelines. These markers include a 24-hour emergency number. These pipeline markers may not be used in all locations. In accordance with federal regulations, for areas along our transmission pipelines where the consequences of an accident would be high, we have developed an Integrity Management Plan, to assess potential hazards and to manage the safety of our transmission lines. For more information regarding Avista’s Integrity Management Plan, please contact us. Avista has approximately 87 miles of transmission pipelines and 7,800 miles of distribution pipelines. For a general location of our natural gas transmission pipeline and a list of other pipeline operators in your area, visit https://www.npms.phmsa.dot.gov/.
In order to ensure public safety and reliability for our customers, we maintain our pipeline right of way. This includes keeping the right of way clear and accessible for pipeline protection, maintenance, and public safety. It’s important to keep pipelines clear of trees, buildings, garages, and other structures that would interfere with our ability to conduct inspections, make repairs, or respond to an emergency. Never build over existing underground facilities. We work together with the local planning and zoning agencies to promote pipeline and community safety. Please call 1-800-227-9187 to find the Avista manager in your area.