External safety pipelines decree

Last updated: 15 February 2022

This decree concerns environmental quality requirements for external safety for the transport of hazardous substances through pipelines, including natural gas and petroleum products.

From design to decommissioning of the pipeline, the operator is required to take reasonable technical and organisational measures to limit any adverse effects on human health and the environment. Further, the operator must implement a safety management system which may be reviewed by the MEA. The pipeline safety management system documentation must include a description of:

a)     The pipeline and pipeline components and a qualitative assessment of it

b)    Objectives, criteria, standards, guidelines, and other relevant regulations and safety and environmental indicators that are applied

c)     The risk inventory and evaluation for each life stage of the pipeline and which risks for human health and environment have been identified

d)    The technical and organisational measures implemented to minimise risks

e)     The distribution of responsibilities and powers for the safety of people and environment

f)     Measuring and evaluating performance regarding safety of people and the environment and the way the performance is analysed, monitored, and maintained

g)    Identifying plausible unusual occurrences and preparing and practicing emergency plans

When a pipeline is decommissioned or goes offline, the operator must immediately report this to the MEA and ensure that the pipeline does not pose a risk to human health or environment (Article 9). If an incident occurs that harms the environment or human health, it shall be reported to the competent authority as soon as possible.

When constructing a pipeline or a vulnerable object (e.g. housing, shops, offices, restaurants) near a pipeline, they must be sufficiently far enough away from each other to minimise risk (Article 11). 

Want to know more about this policy ? Learn more (Dutch)