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Safety & sustainability

CHS uses pipelines to safely transport crude oil to our refineries and provide our farmer-owners with a secure supply of the products they need. Routine maintenance, inspection and clear marking of our pipelines keep the system operating safely.

At CHS, we believe it’s our responsibly to partner with those who live and work near pipelines to ensure our communities remain safe. We’re committed to providing important information about pipeline safety and being prepared to respond.

811 logo
Call 811 before you dig

811 is a free, nationwide service designed to keep you safe from damaging pipelines and underground utilities when digging or excavating. Calling 811 is a simple process that can help avoid potential damage or destruction of equipment, as well as injury or death.

Pipeline markers with number

More resources in your state

Richard Inman, boilerhouse operator, CHS McPherson refinery
Pipeline safety
We are dedicated to ensuring the safety of our employees, the public and the environment. To identify potential dangers and minimize the possibility of a leak, we have implemented an Integrity Management Program, which includes periodic pipeline inspections using an internal, electronic tool that records the location of corrosion and dents. Repairs are made based on this data, and in accordance with government regulations and sound engineering judgment. We also make an earnest effort to keep the public informed about the pipeline, its location and who to contact in case of emergency.
Glendive to block valve 46 construction
Our safety-first system
With a core commitment to the safety of our communities, CHS pipelines and terminals has implemented a Safety Management System (SMS). This SMS is a framework designed to ensure the safety and security of the public, the company’s employees, pipeline operations and assets, and the protection of the environment by establishing and communicating clear expectations through safety policies and goals. This SMS provides a process in which operations are evaluated to identify and mitigate hazards, maintain continuous improvement, and ensure regulatory compliance.

Protecting pipelines in your community

The pipeline industry uses a wide range of tools, technologies and procedures to maintain safe operations. Take the following actions to promote pipeline safety in your community:
Frederick Sheridan, CHS fire brigade member and CHS employee
Know where pipelines in your community are located and what they transport
Visit the National Pipeline Mapping System to view maps of pipelines in your community and get emergency contact information for operators.
Cenex Pipeline marker
Know to call 911 first and then contact the operator in case of an emergency
  • Operator contact information is also provided on pipeline markers.
  • Contact local pipeline operators to learn more about the location of their lines and pipeline safety.
  • Know the information on the pipeline marker:
  • Name of the operating company
  • Product
  • 24/7 emergency number
Broden Farms tractor moving pipe on field
Report pipeline damage or any suspicious or unusual activity near the pipeline
Call the pipeline operator if you see unauthorized excavation activities that could endanger a pipeline or above-ground pipeline facility, or if you notice that a pipeline is exposed due to erosion or excavation near the site.
Excavator tractor at Broden Farms
Always call 811 to have pipelines located and marked before starting a project
Follow best practices for safe excavation and enforce state 811 One Call laws.
Producer driving a tractor in a field
Farmers and ranchers

The majority of pipelines are located beneath farmland.

Accidentally striking a pipeline can have lethal consequences, so it's critical for farmers and ranchers to follow appropriate safety procedures.

811 should be called before doing any work that disturbs the soil, including:

  • Deep tilling
  • Ditching
  • Soil ripping
  • Installing drain tile
  • Constructing fences, roads, driveways, berms, overhead or underground utilities or other facilities
Excavator tractor at Broden Farms

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, excavation and construction are the greatest single cause of serious pipeline accidents.

Without proper coordination, excavation activities in the vicinity of underground pipelines can create very dangerous conditions.

Lonnie Mullen, fire chief at McPherson Refinery
Public officials & first responders

Public safety officials and emergency response agencies must be able to quickly and correctly respond to a pipeline emergency. Understanding how to work with pipeline operator representatives is a critical part of the emergency response process.

Developing relationships with local pipeline operators is important to promote and enforce safe excavation practices and state One Call laws to protect pipelines and prevent incidents from happening.

School bus

Approximately one in every 20 schools in the United States is located within a half mile of an underground petroleum or natural gas pipeline or above-ground pipeline facility.

Being aware of pipeline locations and knowing who to contact in an emergency can help you prevent and better respond to a pipeline emergency in your school's vicinity.

Responding to an emergency

A few key tips can help protect your community in the event of a pipeline emergency, including:

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Call 911 to contact emergency responders immediately.
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Secure the area around the leak by evacuating the public from homes, businesses, schools and other locations. Consider erecting barricades to control access to the emergency site, or taking other, similar precautions.
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If the pipeline leak isn’t burning, take steps to prevent ignition. This includes prohibiting smoking, rerouting traffic, and shutting off the electricity and residential gas supply.
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If the pipeline leak is burning, try to prevent the spread of fire but do not attempt to extinguish it. Burning petroleum products will not explode. If the fire is extinguished, gas or vapor will collect and could explode when reignited by secondary fires.
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Contact the pipeline company as soon as possible. Pipeline marker signs show the pipeline company’s name, emergency telephone number, and pipeline contents.
Looking for more information? Check out additional resources and emergency contacts.
Producer driving a tractor in a field

Sustainability at CHS

At CHS, we are passionate about sustainability. As we create connections to empower agriculture, we focus on sustaining healthy places for people to live and work, caring for and making effective use of our natural resources, and preserving them for future generations. We are also vested in and support strong communities, where people feel safe and valued and have opportunities to learn and thrive together. Learn more about the CHS approach to sustainability and our stewardship initiatives.