Securing and protecting our nation’s pipelines

Monday, July 11, 2016

More than likely, you are familiar with TSA’s work in providing security for nearly 2 million travelers daily at approximately 440 airports. But did you know that TSA works to enhance security on more than 2.6 million miles of natural gas and oil pipelines in the U.S.? An attractive target to criminals and terrorists, TSA collaborates with operators to identify critical pipeline systems and their most vital components, the loss of which could result in long term disruptions in energy supplies. TSA shares threat information with operators, provides technical assistance in identifying vulnerabilities, and works to improve the strength of systems to minimize the consequences of an attack or disruption.

TSA has completed corporate security reviews on all of the nation’s top 100 pipeline systems, which collectively transport 84 percent of the nation’s energy. A core component of TSA’s pipeline security program is the Pipeline Corporate Security Review program that enables TSA to build relationships with pipeline operators, assess their corporate security plans and programs, provide recommendations for improvement, and share best practices. Through the program, TSA evaluates operator implementation of the pipeline security guidelines.

TSA also conducts Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) operations at pipeline facilities. VIPR teams comprise of federal air marshals, transportation security inspectors, and state and local law enforcement partners, among others. VIPR teams serve as a deterrent by providing a highly visible law enforcement presence at critical pipeline facilities. 

So, the next time you put gas in your car or use your gas stove, think about how many miles it has already traveled to get to you and how it is being protected.