Atmos Energy Corporation, one of the nation’s largest natural gas distributors, has invested more than $1.2 billion over the past three years to safeguard the communities it serves. In addition, the company is expected to spend more than $500 million on safety and reliability in fiscal 2013. “Those safeguards include the repair, replacement and rehabilitation of pipelines throughout the states we serve,” said Marvin Sweetin, Atmos Energy senior vice president of utility operations. “This marks the largest capital initiative in our company’s history. It has created jobs throughout the communities we serve as well as built partnerships with city leaders.” In addition to modernizing its pipeline system, Atmos Energy continually monitors and surveys its system to meet or exceed federal and state requirements and to make any needed repairs. Its trained technicians are available 24/7, 365 days a year to quickly solve any problems. “These programs support our ongoing mission to operate one of the safest and most reliable natural gas delivery systems in the nation,” said Sweetin. “We have a great team of employees who wake up every day with safety on their minds.” MONITORING & MAINTAINING PIPELINES Atmos Energy maintains and monitors more than 72,000 miles of pipeline in eight states. For both its distribution and transmission pipelines, it has detailed integrity management programs that require periodic inspections and testing of its lines and equipment. “Atmos Energy technicians monitor our pipelines through aerial surveys, on foot patrols and by using specially equipped vehicles to detect natural gas,” said John McDill, Atmos Energy vice president of pipeline safety. “Our pipeline control centers in Dallas, Texas, and Franklin, Tennessee, rely on advanced telecommunications technology, flow sensors and remote-control valves to control the system and protect the public.” SAFETY TRAINING Technical training is an integral part of safety initiatives at Atmos Energy. In 2010, Atmos Energy built one of the natural gas industry’s finest technical training facilities, the Charles K. Vaughan Center in Plano, Texas. The center averages about 800 company students a year and another 8,000 outside visitors, including first responders from area fire departments.
“We complement our classes with hands-on training,” Sweetin said. “At the Charles K. Vaughan Center, we have an outdoor training area named Gas City. It simulates a mini neighborhood where employees can continue to develop their hands-on skills for the safe operation of our distribution and transmission system.”SAFEGUARDING YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD Sweetin said the surest way to protect your neighborhood is to notify Atmos Energy or call 911 immediately if you smell natural gas. “We add an odorant to the gas that smells like rotten eggs. If you ever smell that odor, leave the area immediately and from a safe distance call the Atmos Energy Emergency Hotline at 1-866-322-8667 or call 911,” said Sweetin. COMMUNICATING SAFETY At Atmos Energy, customers also play an active role in keeping communities safe. As a result, the company provides safety information about natural gas to the public, its customers, emergency officials, excavators and public officials through advertising, bill inserts, websites, social media, mailings, public events and classroom programs. For more information, go online to www.atmosenergy.com/safety. About Atmos Energy Atmos Energy Corporation, headquartered in Dallas, is one of the country's largest natural-gas-only distributors, serving over three million natural gas distribution customers in over 1,400 communities in eight states from the Blue Ridge Mountains in the East to the Rocky Mountains in the West. Atmos Energy also manages company-owned natural gas pipeline and storage assets, including one of the largest intrastate natural gas pipeline systems in Texas and provides natural gas marketing and procurement services to industrial, commercial and municipal customers primarily in the Midwest and Southeast. For more information, visit www.atmosenergy.com. Atmos Energy is on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.