AGA Unveils Leading Practices to Avoid Over-Pressurization

News Release November 26, 2018

Washington, D.C. – AGA today released “Leading Practices to Reduce the Possibility of an Over-Pressurization Event,” a document that serves as a resource for natural gas utilities to help avoid an over-pressurization incident in a natural gas system.

“Soon after the natural gas incident in Massachusetts we had information about the role of over-pressurization, which allowed us to work to identify practices and procedures that can help avoid a similar devastating incident in the future,” said Dave McCurdy, president and CEO, AGA. “Our thoughts are with the families who were impacted by the tragic incident in September and we will continue to work to help ensure nothing like this happens again.”

There are a number of leading practices included in the document: design practices, including common over-pressure protection designs and equipment; operating procedures and practices, including system monitoring, records and damage prevention; human factors, including management of change, operator qualification and field oversight; and management of the risk of an over-pressurization event, including addressing over-pressurization under the operator’s distribution integrity management plan. General practices to be considered in managing the risk of an over-pressure event include: looking for opportunities to work with all stakeholders to pro-actively upgrade utilization pressure systems and defining risk criteria for overpressure events.

This document is a technical resource for natural gas utilities that was developed with input from stakeholders and experts across the industry, with the focus on developing leading practices that can be utilized to help prevent over-pressurization events and continue to improve the safety of the natural gas industry.

Safety is at the core of what the natural gas industry does and natural gas utilities work tirelessly to help ensure the safety of their customers, communities and employees. To learn more about industry safety and over-pressurization, click here.


The American Gas Association, founded in 1918, represents more than 200 local energy companies that deliver clean natural gas throughout the United States. There are more than 73 million residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers in the U.S., of which 95 percent — more than 69 million customers — receive their gas from AGA members. Today, natural gas meets more than one-fourth of the United States' energy needs.