Minimizing Impacts of Pipeline Construction

Technologies that can minimize the environmental impacts of pipeline construction.

Selection of Pipeline Route to Allow Setback from Key Features

Pipeline routes should be selected so they are not located close to residences, wetlands, water wells, schools, cave openings, or other sensitive environmental or geographic features. Crossings of water bodies and other sensitive structures such as wetlands should be minimized where possible.

Minimization of Disturbed Surface Area

Operators should attempt to disturb the smallest amount of surface area that still allows them to have safe access to and from the pipeline corridor and that provides sufficient area for all of the equipment needed during pipeline installation.

Rapid Restoration

Operators should restore and revegetate pipeline corridors as soon as possible after the pipe has been installed and hydrotested.

Hydrostatic Testing

When hydrostatic testing new sections of pipeline, operators should provide controls and structures for managing and treating the large volume of water released from the pipe at the conclusion of the test.

Compressor Stations

Compressor stations employ large compressors, pumps, and engines that have a potential to create a great deal of noise. Operators should design compressor stations to include noise-reducing devices, when the stations are sited in locations where humans and wildlife may be affected by loud noise.

Temporal and Spatial Offsets for Threatened and Endangered Species

Additional protection for threatened and endangered species can be provided by constructing pipelines and compressor stations in locations that avoid identified nesting or breeding locations or locations of populations of threatened or endangered species. Likewise, pipeline construction activities can be postponed to avoid certain times of the year, when threatened and endangered species are mating, nesting, or rearing young. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed voluntary best management practices for protecting threatened and sensitive species. These are described on the pipelines regulatory requirements page.

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Minimizing Environmental Impacts

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