You can learn more about the construction process on INGAA’s Pipeline Construction page on their website.
What is horizontal directional drilling (HDD) and how does it reduce impacts on rivers, wetlands, and other natural areas?
By using horizontal directional drilling (HDD) we are able to drill underneath a riverbed, wetland, or other natural area without open trenching, excavation or using equipment in a sensitive area. Drilling equipment is positioned on either side of the sensitive area and the pipeline is guided underneath the area, without directly impacting the river, wetland, or other area being crossed.
The pipeline is being routed to avoid environmentally sensitive areas where practicable. The majority of the route is co-located along existing utility corridors and pipeline rights-of-way, which is expected to reduce environmental impacts overall. Where the pipeline traverses a sensitive area, impacts are expected to be minimized using minor route variations, leading management practices, and approved mitigation measures.
Generally, landowners will be able to use their land as they did prior to the pipeline being located on their property. The effect of any restrictions would be addressed as part of the pipeline easement agreement granted to Midship Pipeline. Agricultural activities such as growing crops and pasturing livestock can resume as soon as the land is ready, but in order to operate the pipeline safely, some restrictions may apply. Some landowners may not be able to engage in certain projects that could potentially damage the pipeline beneath the right-of-way, such as building permanent structures, planting trees or excavating-type projects.
The presence of a natural gas pipeline does not significantly affect the value of the surrounding property, according to a 2015 study conducted by Integra Realty Resources, a leading provider of real estate valuation and counseling services. The report, Pipeline Impact to Property Value and Property Insurability, shows that the presence of pipelines does not affect the value of a property, its insurability, its desirability or the ability to obtain a mortgage.
The project must obtain necessary regulatory authorizations from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which is the federal agency with primary jurisdiction over the development and construction of U.S. interstate natural gas pipeline projects. FERC will conduct a thorough and rigorous review of the project, evaluating the purpose, need, alternatives, and overall environmental and social impacts of the construction and operation of the project. The FERC process and the permitting processes of other federal and state agencies will allow interested stakeholders multiple opportunities to comment on the proposed pipeline project. During construction and operation, the pipeline will be regulated by the FERC as well as the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), which oversees a comprehensive regulatory program aimed at ensuring the safe, reliable, and environmentally sound operation of our nation’s natural gas pipelines. Pipeline development and operations are also regulated by many other state and federal agencies including:
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- Bureau of Indian Affairs
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration
- U.S. Department of Transportation
- Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality
- Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation
- Oklahoma Archaeological Survey
- Oklahoma Historical Society
- Oklahoma Water Resources Board
- Oklahoma Corporation Commission
Pipelines provide the safest and most efficient means to reliably transport energy products throughout the United States. There are approximately 300,000 miles of natural gas transmission pipelines throughout the United States – mostly buried underground. We rely on these pipelines to transport the energy that we use for our everyday needs such as generating electricity, heating homes, cooking food and more.
The Midship Pipeline route does not cross any tribally owned lands. But, Midship has engaged with tribes with potential interest in the project path (18 tribes in total) to understand and address concerns about the areas we cross. We have also worked with a tribal representative on extensive cultural and historical surveys and developed a best-practice based plan for unanticipated discoveries. We will continue consultation and cooperation during construction and operation.