A new collaborative study intended to provide guidance “in setting the highest practicable standards” for constructing natural gas pipelines through steep slopes was released earlier this month. The study, Improving Steep-Slope Pipeline Construction to Reduce Impacts to Natural Resources, was facilitated by The Nature Conservancy and involved the participation of eight natural gas industry companies, including Dominion Energy and EQT Midstream Partners.
The stated intention of the project is “to provide guidance for the industry in setting the highest practicable standards” and “to serve as an industry-wide catalyst for reducing the risk of landslides, slips, and erosion that may occur during steep-slope pipeline construction, operation, and maintenance, as well as impacts from these events on habitat health and water quality.”
The stated goals of the project are to:
- Identify the most prevalent challenges involved with pipeline construction in areas with a high risk of landslide, slip, and erosion potential.
- Identify and communicate best practices for addressing these challenges.
- Identify and communicate the additional needs or opportunities for further research, technological advancement, and new or modified engineering specifications to advance the understanding and use of potential new best practices for pipeline construction in steep slope areas.
ABRA is currently conducting an evaluation of the study.