What We Do
Minnesota Office of Pipeline Safety (MNOPS) officials inspect natural gas, propane and hazardous liquid pipelines, and investigates leaks and accidents. MNOPS enforces the “Call Before You Dig” laws.
Learn more about MNOPS and what staff did in 2018 in our annual report.
The mission of MNOPS is to protect lives, property, and the environment through the implementation of a program of gas and hazardous liquid pipeline inspections, enforcement, accident and incident investigations, and education.
The MNOPS vision is to ensure a customer driven approach to public safety through focus on collaboration and continuous improvement.
The Office of Pipeline Safety has 16 full time employees located in the Saint Paul office. Additional inspectors are located in our field offices in Fosston, Granite Falls and Sandstone.
MNOPS uses a risk-based method for scheduling pipeline inspections. Inspections include an evaluation of the operator's policies, procedures, training and qualification records, along with field observation of practices and conditions. If an accident occurs, the office investigates to determine probable violations and works to prevent recurrence. MNOPS has the authority to issue civil penalties for violations of Minnesota pipeline laws.
Damage Prevention Program
MNOPS is the enforcement authority for the "Call Before You Dig" law, Minnesota Statute 216 D. The MNOPS director also serves on the Gopher State One-Call Board. At least 48 hours before excavating, any individual or company is required to call the Gopher State One-Call Center so that operators can be notified to mark facilities.
MNOPS partners with the Gopher State One Call Board, local utility coordinating committees and individual organizations to present more than 80 educational seminars on excavation damage prevention each year. As a result of excellent public-private partnerships that enhance communication, educate excavators and support enforcement of the One-Call laws, excavation related damages in Minnesota have declined by over 70 percent since 1996.