Office of Security Policy and Industry Engagement
The Pipeline System Landscape in the U.S.
The national pipeline system is an extensive mode of transportation with unique infrastructure security characteristics and requirements. Vast networks of pipelines crisscross thousands of miles to transport nearly all the natural gas and approximately 65 percent of hazardous liquids, including crude and refined petroleum products, that are consumed in the U.S. There are approximately 3,000 companies in the U.S. that operate:
- 175,000 miles of hazardous liquid pipelines
- 321,000 miles of natural gas transmission pipelines
- 2.06 million miles of natural gas distribution pipelines
Virtually all the critical pipeline infrastructure is owned or operated by private entities, and with rare exceptions, are buried underground. While pipelines are an efficient and fundamentally safe means of transportation, pipeline disruptions can have effects that impact the economy, and, in extreme cases, public health and national security.
The Surface Pipeline Security Branch within the TSA Office of Security Policy and Industry Engagement (OSPIE) has one clear mission – to enhance the security preparedness of the nation's hazardous liquid and natural gas pipeline systems. To accomplish this, the Division pursues three main objectives to achieve its transportation sector security goals. Those objectives are:
- Reduce the level of risk through analysis and implementation of security programs
- Increase the level of resiliency and robustness
- Increase the level of domain awareness, information sharing, response planning, and coordination
These objectives are supported by a combination of programs, projects, and activities that involve maximizing available resources and minimizing duplication of efforts.