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Emergency Hotline: 1.800.400.4271

24 hours a day / 7 days a week

What is an Emergency?

Gas leaks, an odor of gas, damaged lines, and carbon monoxide symptoms are all considered emergencies. If you have an emergency, call our emergency hotline at 1-800-400-4271 . Our personnel are ready to assist you 24/7. When in doubt, call us immediately. 

If you smell gas, do not attempt to locate the leak. Instead, leave the house or building right away. Do not turn on or off any electrical switches, appliances, or lights, as an electrical charge could create a spark. When you are in a safe place, call the Peoples emergency hotline.

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We're Replacing Pipelines to Reduce Methane

  • Play Icon Play Video
    Take a look at this video to learn more about our pipeline replacement process.
  • Our crews are working hard across our service territory every day, upgrading our pipelines to keep our communities safe and to reduce our carbon footprint.
  • Our crews use temporary repairs, pictured above, so that they're able to get parking and traffic back to normal on your street and move on to the next construction project. Once the pipeline on your street has been upgraded, we schedule our restoration crew to complete a permanent restoration.
  • When we start a pipeline restoration project on your street, as a resident, there are a couple of important things to keep in mind. Take a look at our What Should I Know? page to learn more about the construction process and about your own pipeline responsibilities.

You see the orange cones. The no-parking signs. The construction equipment moving in. That feeling of dread sinks into the pit of your stomach. But instead of groaning, you smile. Does that sound a bit odd?

Not really. And we’re here to tell you why.

Peoples has been around for a long time. We started distributing natural gas to customers in 1885—the same year that the first automobile was invented. Back then, our pipelines were made primarily out of cast iron. That network of pipes continued to expand over the next 130 years in an incredible rush of invention and growth. Now, in 2018, Peoples maintains over 15,000 miles of pipe across our service territory. That’s the distance from Pittsburgh to Hong Kong. And back.

From the beginning, we have been committed to the safety of our customers and communities, and so it has always been critical to maintain our pipelines. But as technology advanced, as we learned more about how our actions can affect the environment, “safety” took on a new meaning. Now, to keep our customers and communities safe, we know that we must keep our environment safe, too.

So in 2016, Peoples launched an aggressive multi-year effort to replace and upgrade over 3,000 miles of natural gas pipelines in Western Pennsylvania. This pipeline replacement project is part of our Long-Term Infrastructure Improvement Plan (LTIIP) to improve both the safety and the sustainability of our natural gas distribution system.

Under the LTIIP, which was approved by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, we are replacing nearly all bare steel and cast iron pipelines in the system with new, state of the art plastic pipelines. Unlike steel or cast iron, the new plastic pipelines will not corrode, and because they are more flexible, can better withstand our region’s freeze and thaw cycle. Work first began in 2013 and is expected to take around 20 years. Although the cost will vary from year to year, we expect to spend approximately $175 million on this project each year to ensure that we complete this project as safely and efficiently as possible.

Replacing these pipes provides significant environmental benefits—in particular, the reduction of methane emissions from old pipes. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, while methane only exists in the atmosphere for about a decade before decaying into carbon dioxide (CO2), in that time, it warms the planet 86 times more than CO2. With that in mind, we made methane reduction one of our strongest priorities under the LTIIP. For us, replacing these pipelines isn’t just a requirement. It’s an imperative step and a tremendous opportunity to do more for our environment—an opportunity that we’ve embraced head-on.

Over the past two years, we’ve teamed up with the Environmental Defense Fund and Carnegie Mellon University to find, map, and monitor methane leaks throughout the City of Pittsburgh. Cars were equipped with sensitive technology to measure methane, and then spent several months driving through Pittsburgh neighborhoods. The data was then plotted on publicly available maps. According to Morgan O’Brien, President and CEO of Peoples, the goal is to “hone the data, technology and methodology developed during this project to drive our improvement plan.” This data collection and analysis allows us to better prioritize our replacement efforts and cut greenhouse gas emissions more quickly. But we also want to be mindful of our customers, especially those with fixed incomes. By replacing pipelines as efficiently as possible, we’re helping the environment while keeping energy affordable for our customers.

So, what can customers expect during these pipeline replacement projects? While the timeline of each individual project varies based on factors like topography and weather, the key steps remain the same.

Before we start a large pipeline restoration project, we notify all residents in the affected area with a letter. In addition, residents can use the interactive map located on our Future Work page to learn more about upcoming and ongoing projects in your area. We’re also exploring other ways we might notify customers in the future—whether that’s by email, text message, or on social media.

Once we replace the main pipeline, you may see temporary repairs on your street and sidewalk, like a line of new asphalt, or gravel on one section of your sidewalk. But rest assured, these repairs are only temporary. We will be back to restore your street, typically within one month. We make these temporary repairs to minimize the disruption to people in the area and get traffic patterns and parking back to normal. These temporary repairs also allow our construction crews to move on to the next pipeline replacement project. We want to make sure we can extend our pipeline replacement program to as many communities as possible, as quickly as possible. Once the actual pipeline replacement is complete on your street, we schedule the permanent restoration with a different crew that is specifically responsible for paving, restoring your sidewalk, and renewing your landscaping. We recognize that there may be some short-term inconvenience with these temporary repairs, but we ask you to bear with us. This permanent restoration crew will make sure that all disturbed roads, landscaping, and sidewalks are returned to their original state—if not better than they were before.

The LTIIP is part of our commitment to serve our communities by providing safe, affordable natural gas. But it’s also a daily example of our environmental commitment. Moving forward, as we discover more opportunities to cut our own emissions, improve our processes, and embrace renewable sources of energy, we’re ready to hit the ground running. But as a company that keeps the heat on for over 700,000 customers, we have a responsibility to make positive changes right now that will protect our customers and our environment. And that’s what we’re doing every day with our pipeline replacement program.

Our company was born in an era of industry, fueled by invention. Generations have come and gone, technology has evolved, and new challenges have emerged, but that same spirit of innovation still thrives today. If we use our creativity and compassion to serve our customers, our communities, and our environment, we can truly make lives better.

And hopefully, we can make those orange cones look a little friendlier.

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