Emergency Preparedness


Through proactive maintenance and integrity management, Colonial’s network of pipes, pumps and storage facilities are designed to minimize the risk of an incident occurring. Our highest priorities are the health and safety of employees, contractors, nearby communities, and the environment. While we strive for 100 percent success in preventing incidents, we are prepared if one occurs. 


Colonial Pipeline maintains a comprehensive set of Emergency Response Plans that establish response protocols and clearly define a systematic approach to anticipating and preparing for potential incidents. The plans, which are consistent with guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, serve as guidelines for response actions, notifications, and communications in the event of an emergency.


In the event of an incident, Colonial Pipeline employees are trained to safely and immediately respond while also activating external resources to maximize the effectiveness of the response effort. 

  • Members of the company’s Incident Management Team participate in an emergency response training program that provides instruction on the Incident Command System and Hazardous Waste Emergency Response. Our training program is tested each year through several drills and exercises to ensure the training is effective and our team is continuously improving company readiness. 
  • Colonial maintains contractual relationships with Oil Spill Removal Organizations (OSROs) staffed with highly skilled personnel, certified by the United States Coast Guard, to support the emergency response effort. 


Engaging with key public sector agencies and first responders across Colonial’s pipeline network is essential to an effective emergency response strategy. Our Emergency Responder Liaison Program is a cornerstone of our preparedness efforts and fosters partnerships with fire departments, law enforcement agencies, emergency management authorities, and environmental organizations.

Colonial works closely with these partner organizations to identify potential risks, hazards, areas of need, and response capabilities, and to develop strategic plans that can be implemented in the event of an incident.


Emergency response drills are mission-critical to an effective emergency preparedness program. Knowing what to do, how to do it, and when to do it helps ensure a safe and effective response. 

Exercises are conducted based on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Incident Command System, and are designed to test real-life scenarios. Colonial conducts full scale drills on a regular basis to test the company’s effectiveness in implementing emergency response plans, mobilizing resources, integrating with local responders and environmental groups, and meeting regulatory requirements.