Get the Facts About the Atlantic Coast Pipeline
The approximately 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline is designed to make our region energy sure by connecting us to an abundant supply of affordable, cleaner-burning natural gas.

How Safe Can the Pipeline Be?

How Safe Can the Pipeline Be?

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a crucial piece of new infrastructure needed to make our region energy sure. We understand that questions will arise at the thought of a new underground pipeline moving a high volume of natural gas through our communities. However, once you know the facts about how pipelines are built, operated and regulated, it’s easy to see why they are the safest, most efficient way to transport natural gas. That’s why America’s supply of natural gas currently utilizes more than 300,000 miles of pipeline across the country.

Below, we will explore the answers to some questions that have been raised about the safety of the new Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

Why do we need a new natural gas pipeline?
Our region is facing multiple challenges when it comes to our future energy needs. Our demand for energy is increasing. At the same time, new federal environmental regulations are requiring the retirement of older, coal-fired power plants — meaning there will be less capacity to generate electricity. We can replace our coal-fired plants with new, cleaner-burning natural gas-fired power plants. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline will provide us with a more abundant and reliable supply of natural gas needed to generate power, heat our homes, fuel our businesses and make our region energy sure.

Why is a pipeline the best option?
In order to generate the electricity we use each day, natural gas power plants must have a consistent, reliable delivery of high volumes of natural gas. Only a structure such as the Atlantic Coast Pipeline can provide that reliability. Plus, the U.S. Department of Transportation has found that pipelines are one of the safest ways to transport natural gas.

How do you ensure a pipeline doesn’t leak?
The safety of the environment, communities, workers and others who will be affected by the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a key factor in its design and construction. The pipeline will utilize everything from coatings to stop corrosion to advanced technology that can monitor the flow of gas at all times. Welds will be X-rayed and any flaws will be ground out and re-welded. Before the pipeline can go into operation, the entire system will undergo hydrostatic pressure testing that will use water to subject the line to pressures greater than it will ever see during operation. This ensures that any fault in the pipeline is addressed before it ever transports natural gas.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has found that pipelines are one of the safest ways to transport natural gas.

Who will make sure the construction will be done right?
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline partners are committed to the safe building, maintenance and operation of the pipeline. Even so, every pipeline built in the United States must adhere to the strict regulations put in place by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee (FERC). FERC reviews environmental factors and prepares Environmental Assessments or Environmental Impact Statements during the planning process. Then once approved, the Office of Pipeline Safety ensures safety during the design, construction, operation and maintenance processes. Regulators will review every phase of the project so the public can be sure that the pipeline will be safe.

Once the pipeline is finished, how will we know it is operating safely?
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline will be monitored from a 24/7 gas control center equipped with the latest technology that will be able to quickly detect a leak and shut down the line if necessary. The entire length of the pipeline will be subject to monthly aerial inspections, frequent foot inspections and even internal inspections by computerized “smart pigs” that look for corrosion or other problems as they travel through a section of the pipeline.

Any safety incident would be considered one too many. That’s why the Atlantic Coast Pipeline partners have dedicated significant resources, technology and manpower to build a pipeline that will safely supply our region with clean, affordable, reliable natural gas. To support the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, join the EnergySure Coalition today!


Environment | Natural Gas | Project Need | Safety