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Pipeline Incident 20 Year Trends

Pipeline Incidents

PHMSA has collected pipeline incident reports since 1970. The reporting regulations and incident report formats have changed several times over the years. PHMSA merged the various report formats to create pipeline incident trend lines going back 20 years.

The trend links will initially present reports including all data for the incident type. The table below lists the year PHMSA began collecting incident reports by system type. The reports can be filtered by State and by System Type:

System Types
Types of Pipeline Systems

Gas Distribution


Hazardous Liquid


Gas Gathering


Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)


Gas Transmission


Underground Natural Gas Storage (UNGS)


Hazardous Liquid Gravity Lines and Reporting Regulated Only Hazardous Liquid Gathering Lines


Type R Gas Gathering 


PHMSA also provides data about the causes of the incidents. Each link appearing with a trend line report leads to a new screen showing the incident causes. From this screen, you can also select a link to view details about the location of the incidents.

When a single System Type is selected, additional filters can be applied to the trend lines. Filters include Onshore/Offshore and Commodity (for Hazardous Liquid only).

Accidents reported on hazardous liquid gravity lines (§195.13) and reporting-regulated-only hazardous liquid gathering lines (§195.15) and incidents reported on Type R gas gathering (§192.8(c)(3)) are excluded from Serious and Significant incident 20-year trends. Operators of these pipeline systems are required to comply with certain reporting regulations, but do not need to comply with any other portions of §195/§192.

SERIOUS INCIDENT 20 YEAR TREND – Serious Incidents include a fatality or injury requiring in-patient hospitalization. From 2004 forward, gas distribution incidents caused by a nearby fire or explosion that impact the pipeline system are excluded.

SIGNIFICANT INCIDENT 20 YEAR TREND - Significant incidents are those including any of the following conditions, but gas distribution incidents caused by a nearby fire or explosion that impacted the pipeline system are excluded:

  1. Fatality or injury requiring in-patient hospitalization
  2. $50,000 or more in total costs, measured in 1984 dollars
  3. Highly volatile liquid releases of 5 barrels or more or other liquid releases of 50 barrels or more
  4. Liquid releases resulting in an unintentional fire or explosion

ALL REPORTED INCIDENT 20 YEAR TREND - Includes all reports submitted to PHMSA. Changes to PHMSA reporting regulations have caused large shifts in the trend line.

SIGNIFICANT INCIDENT CONSEQUENCES - Since 2005, incident reports classify each fatality, injury, and cost as either Public or Pipeline Industry.

OPERATOR SUBMISSION – Incident report data submitted to PHMSA by pipeline operators since 1970.
FLAGGED FILES – Incident report data submitted to PHMSA by pipeline operators plus data needed to replicate the pipeline incident trends.