May 15, 2021

Iowa Pipeline Association to host safety awareness in Newton

The Iowa Pipeline Association will be hosting a safety awareness event and training at the Newton DMACC Tuesday for public officials and emergency responders to attend.

The training itself is designed to teach emergency first responders and public officials about safety with pipelines and prevention strategies such as leak recognition and damage prevention. It also allows for officials to come together and get to know each other.

“First and foremost I think it is a networking opportunity but then obviously more important is the education aspect,” pipeline public awareness specialist with Alliant Energy Lisa Howard said.

There are many ways you can teach safety about pipelines, whether that be through a PowerPoint presentation or someone speaking. This event allows for more hands-on experience involving safety pertaining to pipelines.

“We truly run through a simulation of a pipeline emergency so that the emergency responders and public officials can see a first hand opportunity of what they might experience,” Howard said. “The exercise in particular is really robust.”

While Alliant Energy is a natural gas pipeline provider, which means they provide the heating for homes and the hot water you use among other services, the training isn’t only designed for natural gas pipelines.

“It covers all pipeline products ... Alliant Energy is just one of many pipeline operators that might be in attendance at those meetings,” Howard said.

The hope, Howard said, is that first responders and public officials from Newton will attend the meeting, to not only get education from the various exercises but to be able to speak with various pipeline operators. It can also benefit the community as well.

“I think that they could take comfort in knowing that there is ongoing training happening,” Howard said.

This training event is designed for the emergency responders and public officials in the surrounding areas. That doesn’t mean the general public cannot get information on pipeline safety from companies like Alliant Energy and how they can help prevent emergencies.

“Always remember to call 811 before you dig ... The number one thing that people can do to aid in protecting from pipeline emergencies is to call 811 before you dig,” Howard said.

This will give officials and emergency responders in Jasper County the ability to get education and training on pipelines when the event comes to DMACC Newton starting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“I think it is a great opportunity,” Howard said.

For more information regarding Alliant Energy's pipelines and safety measures you can go to alliantenergy.com/pipelinesafety.

Contact Dustin Teays at 641-792-3121 ext. 6533 or dteays@newtondailynews.com