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construction equipment

Construction FAQs


Design steps are taken to prevent this from happening. On slopes, water bars are installed on the surface to direct water off the pipeline alignment onto undisturbed well vegetated areas. Within the trench itself, trench plugs are installed to prevent the trench from acting like a continuous conduit for water flow. The trench plugs interrupt the water flow, and promote the percolation of water vertically to the surface. The water bar on the surface then carries the water off the pipeline alignment. Trench plugs and water bars function as a system to protect the pipeline ROW.
Construction activities are closely monitored to prevent and control fuel leaks and spills. All construction activities are regulated by federal and state agencies, and must have strict Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) protocols in use.

Environmental Protection

Not more frequently than once every three years. Mowing or cutting is done in or after August, as a requirement of the FERC, to protect nesting habitat for migratory birds that have not yet fledged.


Activities such as gardening, hiking, horseback riding, birding, mountain biking, and hunting are all allowed on the right-of-way. Use of the right-of-way by four-wheeled vehicles or ATVs is discouraged due to the potential for rutting and erosion if use is heavy in certain areas or during wet conditions.Trees will be allowed to regrow on the temporary construction workspace; however, Atlantic is required to maintain the permanent right-of-way directly over the pipeline, or a 10-foot wide corridor in wetlands, in an herbaceous state. This allows monitoring of the pipeline for safety and ensures accessibility for maintenance. The permanent maintained right-of-way will be up to 75 feet wide depending on the area.
Farm lanes and two-track roads on private lands will only be used if they are identified prior to construction. Agreement to use temporary construction access roads on private lands, and compensation for that use, will be specified within the landowner’s easement agreement with Atlantic. Some roads may require improvement before use, and roads will be repaired after use, as needed.
A “typical” transmission pipeline in a forested area would look like a cleared strip of grass. Where the pipeline runs through an agricultural field, it would likely go unnoticed.

No. The authority to survey land is granted by the state, and the laws vary from state to state on the right to survey a parcel of land.

The authority to excavate land must be authorized by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. If the commission grants the right to build a pipeline, the company works closely with landowner before it proceeds with any work.

Eminent domain is the right of a government or its agent to expropriate private property for public use, with payment of compensation. It is designed to benefit the public at large by ensuring sufficient, safe and vital infrastructure.

An eminent domain action for a right-of-way easement is a last resort for the company. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline land agents work closely with landowners to reach agreements for an easement. However, a small number of cases do get turned over to legal counsel, many of which are settled before any sort of legal proceeding.

Once the proposed route is determined, negotiations would begin with affected landowners. Property owners would be compensated for granting an easement agreement. Landowners also would be compensated if any damage occurs to their property from the initial survey and environmental studies through the project’s completion.
Neither. Atlantic obtains an easement from the landowner, which grants the company the right to install, operate and maintain a pipeline on the landowner’s property while the landowner continues to retain ownership of the land. We make a one-time payment to landowners for easement rights and pay for any damages to crops or timber.
The depth of the pipeline depends on where it is. For a 42-inch-diameterpipe, there would always be a minimum of three feet of cover. However, in agricultural lands there would be four feet of cover. Under streams and roads, there would be five feet of cover. There also would be one extra foot of depth for bottom padding the trench. Therefore:

  • With 3 feet of cover, the ditch would be 7.5 feet deep.
  • With 4 feet of cover, the ditch would be 8.5 feet deep, and
  • With 5 feet of cover, the ditch would be 9.5 feet deep.
Atlantic will implement measures outlined in the FERC’s Upland Erosion Control, Revegetation, and Maintenance Plan to ensure that productivity of farmland is maintained. These measures will include segregating topsoil from subsoil during excavation and replacing them in the proper order during backfilling and final grading. In addition, construction activities could be restricted during unfavorable conditions (e.g., wet weather) to reduce compaction and rutting. Compaction impacts in agricultural areas will be mitigated through the use of deep tillage operations before topsoil is replaced onto the right-of-way. Atlantic will work with landowners to identify drain tiles and irrigations systems prior to construction, and repair damages caused by construction activities. Crop, hay, and pasture lands will only temporarily be taken out of production during construction, and the landowner will be compensated for lost production.