Pipeline ROW as Wildlife Habitat
The gas and oil pipeline industry manages millions of acres of land on pipeline right-of-ways, around terminals, and storage facilities. There are a number of companies that are proactively managing these lands to be a heathy habitat for native wildlife and vegetation. A Maryland based nonprofit, the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC), has partnered with Spectra, DTE, BG&E, and several other operators to be stewards of the land. These companies are giving back to the communities they operate in while improving company morale and community relations. Another example of the good the industry is doing in their communities. As we move into the holiday season, it’s a good time to recognize some of the efforts being made to give back.
In August of 2014 the MN Regional CGA and Rhino held our second annual 811 Run and Safety Day. We struggled to get 100 participants in 2013, received little attention, and knew we had to do something if we wanted the event to have the impact we were shooting for. Thanks to the vision of Becca Virden of CenterPoint energy, this year we partnered with Minneapolis and St. Paul fire departments. That partnership included adopting the firefighters charity of choice, Firefighters Operation Warm (FOW). The pipeline operators, firefighters, and all stakeholders joined forces and together our efforts resulted in an event that was a huge success from a number of angles. We were able to use electronic billboards, thousands of flyers, social media advertising, and radio spots to spread the “call before you dig” message while promoting the event. We raised over $24,000 through sponsorships, entry fees, and donations to buy brand new American made coats for FOW, and our work alongside Minneapolis and St. Paul Fire helped foster great relationships between the operators and first responders. WIN WIN WIN.
In the end, over 500 people attended our event, both adults and kids, but the reach and effect was far broader. It has inspired me to do what I can to bring the 811 Run for Operation Warm to other cities across the US. If you would like to see the run come to your city, please let me know. It is far easier than you might think. Our CGA events task team has created a Run Playbook that spells out all the tasks and gives you step by step instructions, and the people from Firefighters Operation Warm will be an eager partner to help. There is a chance you might see an 811 Run this year in Washington DC with PHMSA participating, maybe even an appearance by the Secretary of Transportation. I’m keeping my fingers crossed and will keep you all updated.
811 Run Playbook:
As we head into the Thanksgiving Holiday, we are all reminded what we are thankful for. At work, what I am most thankful for, are all the friends, colleagues, and customers I have gotten to know through the years. It often times feels like wherever I travel I have friends, and these friends have taught me so much. I have gotten the chance to learn about their jobs, about the industry, and about all they do to keep their communities safe. At Rhino we are doing our best to share this knowledge and our experiences, to help keep our families, our friends, and our communities safe. Thanks to all of you who have shared, to all of you who have been so loyal, and to all of you I am blessed to be able to call my friends.
For a little laugh, click on the link below, and have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving.