With 2.5 million miles of natural gas pipelines operating in the U.S., it’s easy to forget how prevalent, safe and important pipelines are in our communities.
In North Carolina, there are more than 35,000 miles of natural gas pipelines, including underground pipes that cross the Haw River, the Dan River and other streams, rivers and lakes. Natural gas and fuel liquids pipelines have safely crossed under the Jordan Lake, which provides drinking water to residents in Wake County and other localities; through the city of Greensboro; and through Durham and Wake counties.
In Virginia, there are more than 22,000 miles of natural gas pipelines. They operate in densely populated areas such as the city of Norfolk and in Fairfax County, in northern Virginia, and in suburban and rural areas across the commonwealth. The Spring Hollow Reservoir, a drinking water source for the Roanoke area, was built on top of a natural gas transmission pipeline decades ago. Camp Roanoke, a popular recreational area for paddling and canoeing, coexists with that same natural gas pipeline, which provides a reliable supply of fuel for home heating, cooking and commercial operations in Southwest Virginia.
Elsewhere across the country, the same scenario exists. A natural gas transmission pipeline runs along the property of Atlanta’s SunTrust Park, home of the Braves, and near the Battery Atlanta, a vibrant commercial and residential area. New York’s Central Park has a natural gas transmission line running through it. The Chicago suburbs boast natural gas transmission pipelines crisscrossing residential and commercial districts, meeting demand for an affordable, clean-burning fuel that is critical to helping families and businesses get through winter and go about their daily lives.
These systems are recognized as the safest and most efficient means for providing consumers with natural gas. They also eliminate the need for transport by road or rail, amplifying the clean-air benefits that this fuel source provides.
“Natural gas provides for nearly 25% of our country’s total energy consumption, and petroleum provides for nearly 40%,” according to the U.S. Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. “This requires the transportation of huge volumes of hazardous liquids and gas, and the most feasible, most reliable and safest way to do so is through pipelines.”
The MVP Southgate project is designed to provide Dominion Energy North Carolina, a local natural gas distribution company, with the supply of affordable, domestic natural gas needed to meet existing and future customer demand.
The project team has designed the proposed 74-mile route in Virginia and North Carolina to minimize impacts to landowners and avoid sensitive resources; in fact, more than 1,200 adjustments had been made through the 18 months following the project’s announcement in April 2018.
More than half of the route is collocated along existing natural gas and electric transmission line corridors.