At every stage of the project we've taken tremendous care to protect the environment and minimize impacts on landowners.
Our commitment to environmental protection begins with the exhaustive process of selecting an environmentally responsible route, but extends through every phase of the project—from the first days of construction through the final days of restoration.
Working together with landowners and communities, we spent more than three years developing the safest and most environmentally responsible route for the pipeline.
We carefully studied more than 6,000 miles of potential routes before choosing the best 600-mile route with the least impact. After consulting with landowners and performing extensive field surveys, we made more than 300 route adjustments to avoid environmentally sensitive areas such as wetlands, wildlife habitats, drinking water sources and sensitive geologic features. In hundreds of cases, we worked with individual landowners to choose a better route with fewer impacts on their property.
With regard to water protection, we adjusted the route on numerous occasions to avoid public drinking water sources, private wells and natural springs. We also adopted water body crossing methods specifically designed to avoid impacting sensitive aquatic species, such as mussels, etc. The pipeline will be buried underground with 3 to 5 feet of cover, which is well above the typical depth of groundwater aquifers. We have also developed best-in-class construction and engineering techniques designed specifically to protect karst geology.
Natural gas pipelines are a normal part of everyday life for most Americans, just like many other kinds of transportation and utility infrastructure. Even though most Americans live, work and travel alongside underground pipelines every day, they go virtually unnoticed.
As soon as construction is complete, we restore the land as close as possible to its original condition so landowners can continue using it as they always have. Farmers, for example, can continue growing crops and pasturing livestock on the right of way. In fact, most of the right of way will be covered by pasture, croplands and woodland meadows, where the right of way will easily blend into the surrounding landscape.
Data collected from archaeological/cultural resources, sensitive species and habitats as well as wetland and waterbody resources were used to avoid and minimize impacts on sensitive resources. Construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline will follow best management practices which include protecting native species, preserving wetland and water resources, controlling erosion and minimizing emissions.
For more details on the planned environmental initiatives, select a title from the graphic below. Fact sheets and plans are also available in the Media Center.