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STATE-OF-THE-ART IN DETECTION OF UNAUTHORIZED CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT IN PIPELINE RIGHT-OF-WAYS U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory Strategic Center for Natural Gas Infrastructure Reliability for Natural Gas by James E. Huebler Gas Technology Institute 1700 S. Mount Prospect Road Des Plaines, IL 60018 Gas transmission pipelines are buried in utility right-of-ways marked with warning signs. These right-of-ways are well maintained. Nevertheless, pipelines are sometimes damaged by construction equipment not owned by the pipeline company. Referred to as third-party damage, it is the major cause of damage to natural gas transmission pipelines (ref. 1). A single incident can be devastating, causing death and millions of dollars in property loss. One highly publicized incident occurred in Edison, NJ, in 1994. Flames shot 125 to 150 meters (400 to 500 feet) into the air near an apartment complex. Nearly 100 people were treated in hospitals as a result of the accident. Damage from the incident exceeded $25 million (ref. 2).