Co-locating the pipeline along existing rights of way is always the company’s first choice. Also, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission prefers companies to co-locate their pipelines within or adjacent to existing rights of way where possible. But oftentimes co-location is just not feasible — for a variety of reasons:
- Existing rights of way may not go in the direction the pipeline needs to go.
- Following existing rights of way might require additional easements because, for example, the pipeline cannot be built beneath power lines, on top of other natural gas pipelines or in the middle of roads.
- The terrain might be unsuitable for a pipeline (for example, transmission lines can traverse gaps that pipelines cannot).
- There may be high-density development around the public right-of-way.
- We may not be able to share the existing right of way and may have to parallel it, which would still affect landowners. Jumping on and off existing rights of way can mean an even greater number of private landowners are impacted.