PEORIA, Ill., SPRINGFIELD, Ill. and DECATUR, Ill., June 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- People who live and work in the vicinity of natural gas pipelines owned and operated by Ameren in Illinois are now receiving a special pipeline safety pamphlet.
"Natural gas pipelines have a long and enviable record of safety and reliability," said Jerome Themig, Ameren's manager of gas compliance and training. "Our goal is to continue to make our pipeline system as safe as possible by sharing critical safety information with those who live and work in the vicinity of the pipelines."
A key element in pipeline safety is the Illinois JULIE (Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators) program. JULIE provides homeowners, contractors, excavators and others who may dig with a free service that marks the location of all underground utilities. This free service is available by simply dialing "811" or calling a toll-free number, 1-800-892-0123.
Illinois law requires anyone digging, regardless of the depth of the project, to call JULIE. This notice to dig must be given at least 48 hours (two working days) prior to the start of excavation and the project must begin within 14 calendar days from the call to JULIE.
In addition to the pamphlet and promoting the JULIE service, Ameren conducts and participates in safety education for emergency responders, contractors, customers, children and others. Ameren customers receive regular safety information through the company's AmerenLines bill-insert publication. The Ameren Web site (http://www.ameren.com/) features safety information, including a special section for children.
Ameren conducts regular patrols and inspections of its natural gas pipeline rights-of-way and facilities. Ameren natural gas employees receive regular training and are qualified under U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) standards for natural gas pipeline operators.
The pamphlet being issued by Ameren is part of a larger communications effort recommended by the USDOT, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration as part of the agency's RP1162 guidelines that require natural gas utilities and pipeline operators to educate the public and emergency responders on safety around natural gas pipelines.
The Ameren Illinois utilities (AmerenCILCO, AmerenCIPS and AmerenIP) serve 1.2 million electricity and more than 800,000 natural gas customers.
Natural Gas Safety Information Call Before You Dig
Illinois law requires anyone digging, regardless of the depth of the project, to call JULIE at 1-800-892-0123. This notice must be at least 48 hours (two working days) prior to the start of excavation and the project must begin within 14 calendar days from the call.
Identifying a Natural Gas Leak Smell: Natural gas contains a "rotten egg" odorant to alert you to a leak. Sight: An unusual area of dead vegetation, blowing dirt or bubbling water may indicate a natural gas leak. Sound: A hissing or roaring sound may indicate a natural gas leak. Responding to a Leak -- Personal safety first. Abandon any equipment and leave the area by foot. Prevent others from entering the area -- Avoid all possible ignition sources -- including cell phones and starting vehicles -- in the area of the leak. Any spark could cause an explosion. -- Immediately notify Ameren at 1-800-481-1154. if you do not remember this number, call 911 and give them your location and the nature of the situation.
SOURCE: Ameren Corporation
CONTACT: Leigh Morris, +1-217-535-5228, or Natalie Hemmer,
+1-217-424-7541, or Erica Abbett, +1-314-206-0646, or Neal Johnson,
+1-309-677-5284, all of Ameren Corporation
Web site: http://www.ameren.com/