Distribution Integrity Management (DIMP) is a process for evaluating and reducing risks associated with natural gas distribution facilities. The Pipeline Integrity, Protection, Enforcement and Safety Act of 2006 (PIPES) mandated the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to develop and issue minimum standards for integrity management programs for distribution pipelines. In 2009, PHMSA finalized the DIMP regulations and established an effective date of February 12, 2010 for the rule. Operators were required to implement their plan by August 2, 2011. These regulations required natural gas distribution companies to develop plans to identify and assess risks of facilities, remediate conditions that present potential threats to system integrity and to monitor program effectiveness.

Transmission Integrity Management (TIMP) is a process for evaluating and reducing pipeline risks. The Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002 required the federal PHMSA to develop and issue regulations that address risk analysis and integrity management programs for pipeline operators. In 2003, PHMSA finalized the integrity management program regulations which pipeline operators were required to implement the following year. These regulations require natural gas transmission companies to conduct baseline evaluations of pipe segments within high consequence areas (HCAs) where a gas pipeline failure would have a significant impact on public safety or the environment, by the end of 2012.

​​Integrity Management Programs:

CenterPoint Energy has implemented integrity management programs for both distribution and transmission facilities to achieve or exceed PHMSA mandates. These programs build on an existing foundation of pipeline safety regulations covering design, construction, testing, operation and maintenance - a foundation that was laid many years ago.

Our (DIMP) consists of six main components:

  • System Knowledge: The company gathers and integrates information from historical construction documents, system operating history and general system knowledge of field personnel.
  • Threat Identification: The company uses system knowledge data to identify threats to the system. 
  • Risk Analysis: The company then analyzes the data to determine exposure to threats identified. 
  • Risk Mitigation: The company develops programs or activities to address the risk.
  • Performance Measurement & Effectiveness Evaluation: The company then evaluates the performance and effectiveness of the program and activities to determine if changes are needed. 
  • Periodic Evaluation: Finally, the company evaluates the integrity management program for areas of success and looks for other areas on our distribution system where improvements can be made. We incorporate these improvements into our ongoing safety initiatives and the cycle starts again.
Our (TIMP) Program consists of seven main components:

  • HCA Identification: The company evaluates population densities each year to determine the HCAs along the pipeline system. 
  • Data Integration: The company gathers and integrates information from historical construction documents, pipeline operating history and pipeline evaluations. 
  • Risk Analysis: The company then analyzes individual pipeline segments for exposure to threats as well as the public safety and environmental consequences of a pipeline failure. 
  • ​Evaluation: Using state of the art tools, the company evaluates the pipeline segments for corrosion, damage or other issues detrimental to the safe operation of the pipeline segment. 
  • Repair: The company then investigates and repairs any issues found during the evaluation step to ensure the pipeline continues to operate safely. 
  • Minimize Risks: The company utilizes data integration, risk analysis, evaluations and repairs to develop actions that can be taken to minimize or eliminate future damage and/or consequences. 
  • Improve: Finally, the company evaluates the integrity management program for areas of success and looks for other areas on our pipeline system where improvements can be made. We incorporate these improvements into our ongoing safety initiatives and the cycle starts again. 

​​Leading Edge

CenterPoint Energy is a proud participant and supporter of industry efforts to continually improve system safety and reliability. We are a member of the American Gas Association, Southern Gas Association and the Midwest Energy Association.  We actively participate in industry initiatives such as the Gas Piping Technology Committee.

We believe we are one of the companies leading the pipeline industry to a safer, more reliable future.