×

Get The Facts

Addressing your questions and concerns about the Atlantic Sunrise Project. Click on the icons directly below to find information about specific categories, or simply explore all FAQs below.

SAFETYOpen All

What will you do to make sure this pipeline project is constructed and operated safely?
  1. Williams historically has had a strong safety record and we remain above the industry safety average. We have operated pipelines safely in Pennsylvania for more than 50 years. For the Central Penn Line, we are proposing to demonstrate our commitment to safety by exceeding federal safety regulations in a number of critical areas, including:
  • The pipe material will meet and generally will exceed the API-5L requirements;
  • Use a 0.5 design factor for all fabricated MLV assemblies
  • Class 2 pipe will be installed in all Class 1 locations in order to increase the safety factor;
  • 100 percent nondestructive inspection of mainline welds (for example 49 CFR 192 requires only 10 percent of the welds to the be tested in Class 1 locations); and
  • Providing additional cover depth at certain locations (36 inches in class 1 locations where only 30 inches of cover is required; 60 inches of cover under ditches of all public roads and railroad crossings where only 36 inches is required)
  • Prior to placing the line into service, the pipe will be hydrostatically tested at a maximum pressure that will exceed industry standards identified in 49 CFR 192 (1.5 times the maximum allowable operating pressure).
What about seismic risks?

The risk of potential damage to the pipeline from seismic ground activity is extremely low.  Part of the pipeline design process will include engaging seismic experts to identify fault lines in areas of the proposed pipeline route.  Once these areas are identified, pipeline engineers will incorporate special design features to mitigate any issues the fault could create (e.g. thicker walled pipe; strain gauges; extra padded material during construction). The pipeline would be designed and constructed to standards that withstand probable seismic events within any seismic risk zones in accordance with applicable federal and state regulations.

Who has oversight over interstate pipelines?

The USDOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS), and its partnering state regulatory agencies inspect transmission pipelines and enforce the regulations to better assure safety and reduce risk. In addition to federal government regulatory requirements, standards and recommended practices are developed by industry organizations, such as the American Petroleum Institute, to provide further guidance on the safe construction, operation, and maintenance of pipelines.

How safe are pipelines?

According to U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) statistics, pipelines are the safest method for transporting energy. As this Project is designed, constructed and operated, Transco is committed to maintaining the highest standards of safety, utilizing construction and operational procedures that exceed already stringent industry regulations. Once operational, the new pipeline will be maintained and operated according to procedures outlined in Transco’s Pipeline Integrity Management Program. These procedures, many of which exceed minimum federal industry regulations, includes monitoring of the pipeline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

 

REGULATORYOpen All

What conclusion did FERC reach in its final Environmental Impact Statement?

The FERC’s final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), issued in December 2016, concluded that environmental impacts would be reduced to “less than significant levels” with the implementation of mitigation measures proposed by the company and FERC. The FEIS also contained additional mitigation measures the company must follow, as well as other minor route alternative recommendations.

 

 

Who decides if the pipeline project gets built?

Interstate natural gas pipelines are regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The Commission requires operators like Williams to obtain a federal Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity—in addition to various state permits—before any pipeline facilities can be built.

How long does the process take?

The time required for federal review and pipeline construction varies depending on the size of the pipeline project. For the Atlantic Sunrise Project, Williams filed an application with the FERC on March 31, 2015. If approved by FERC, Williams could begin construction on the project’s mainline facilities as early as mid-2017.

Is all of the information provided to FERC part of the public record?

The FERC application process has been designed with transparency as its cornerstone. All information provided to the FERC by the applicant is part of the public record and available for public inspection. The only information that is not viewable by the general public is data which has been designated by FERC as sensitive for national security or privacy reasons. You can search for info on the FERC website by referencing the project’s Docket Number: CP15-138.

Who makes up FERC?

FERC is composed of five commissioners who are appointed by the President of the United States with the advice and consent of the Senate. Commissioners serve five-year terms, and have an equal vote on regulatory matters. To avoid any undue political influence or pressure, no more than three commissioners may belong to the same political party.

Is the FERC pre-filing process voluntary?

We voluntarily enter the pre-filing process because we recognize it has tremendous value in helping us identify potential issues associated with siting new pipeline infrastructure. By working with stakeholders as part of the pre-filing process, the application we file with the FERC is more complete than if we were to file an application without the valuable information we gather during pre-filing. At the end of the day, our goal is to file an application that reflects the best possible route by minimizing environmental impacts. The pre-filing process is critical in helping us accomplish that objective.

What does the FERC 7(c) application include?

Among other things, the Certificate Application contains a description of the new facilities, need for the project, detailed maps, schedules, and various environmental reports. This information details the various studies and analyses that have been conducted to determine what effect construction and operation could potentially have on the environment and community.

CONSTRUCTIONOpen All

How would you construct in areas of Karst topography?

Williams has recently successfully constructed a pipeline in the Chester Valley karst region which is underlain by some of the same carbonate formations that the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline will cross.  To address risks associated with karst features identified prior to or during construction, Williams will develop and implement measures to avoid, minimize, or mitigate impacts on karst features and groundwater as a result of project construction and operation.

How will you restore my land after pipeline construction

Land disturbed during the construction period will be returned as closely as possible to the original condition. Agricultural lands will be properly restored using approved, modern mitigation techniques. Land Representatives will meet with all directly affected landowners to assess any particular issues or concerns that the landowner may have, such as impact to landscaping or structures such as fences, sheds or playground equipment. Landowners will be compensated for physical damages to property not restored by our contractor following construction.

What do I do if I find you’ve broken my water line or cut my cable or telephone line?

To avoid such an accident, you should be sure to point out the location of any underground utilities or structures to your land agent prior to construction to minimize the potential for disruption. However, you will be provided with the names and numbers of Williams personnel you can contact in the event of a mishap. To ensure all issues and problems are properly and promptly addressed, we would prefer that you deal directly with a Williams employee and not the contractor performing the construction.

What precautions will be taken to prevent the subsoil from mixing with the topsoil?

On improved lands, topsoil will be excavated and segregated into separate stockpiles to allow for the re-establishment of the original soil profile. In agricultural fields, hayfields or other fields used for crops, the top 12 inches of topsoil will be segregated into a separate stockpile. In places that have less than 12 inches, all of the topsoil will be removed and stored separately. Once construction is complete, the subsoil will be placed into the trench first, followed by the topsoil.

How will the pipeline affect land drainage?

The right of way will be graded after construction to allow normal water drainage. All drainages will be returned to their original patterns. The right of way may be terraced, seeded, mulched or otherwise stabilized to prevent erosion.

Am I going to see bulldozers and pickup trucks driving all over my land?

All construction activities will be restricted to the right of way and temporary workspace areas granted during the negotiations. Only those private roads agreed to in advance will be used by the construction crews.

How much construction workspace is needed?

The total width of the construction workspace will vary depending on such factors as slope, soil conditions and regulatory requirements. Generally, approximately 80 to 125 feet of workspace will be required to construct the pipeline. All temporary workspace will revert to the landowner upon completion of construction, with no restrictions.

How long will pipe construction last?

In any one area, the bulk of the work is normally done in six to eight weeks.

PROJECTOpen All

How much of the project has been collocated with other infrastructure corridors?

More than one-quarter of the project footprint leverages existing infrastructure corridors to minimize environmental disturbances.

How much of the route has changed since the project was introduced last spring?

Williams has made adjustments to more than 50% of the original route to address concerns identified by landowners, public officials or permitting agencies.

Williams has already incorporated more than 400 route variations into the proposed route to address stakeholder concerns – and we are still making adjustments. As recently as May 18, 2016, we filed a supplemental filing with FERC, which included the adoption of 39 additional minor route adjustments in response to landowner requests.

Is the route now considered final?

The route filed with FERC in the 7(c) Certificate Application reflects the current preferred alignment incorporating data, comments and input received through Dec. 1, 2014. As additional data is gathered the preferred route may still be adjusted after filing the 7(c) application with FERC. Alternatives that have been and are being considered for the project were filed with FERC as part of the 7(c) application.

Will there be any local benefit from construction?

The FERC Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), issued in  May 2016, estimated that “construction activities will generate about $16.9 million in additional state taxes and that total payroll would be about $501.6 million during the construction phase.”

Researchers at The Pennsylvania State University forecast that the Atlantic Sunrise project will directly employ approximately 2,300 employees in the ten Pennsylvania counties during the project’s one-year construction phase. This will result in an estimated $1.6 billion increase in economic activity in the project area. The 2,300 employees would stimulate the local and regional economies in the project area and support an additional 6,000 indirect and induced jobs. The Project is also expected to generate an additional $245 million in labor income in the project area during construction. Additional positive economic impacts would continue during the operations phase. An estimated 15 full-time permanent positions will be needed to operate and maintain the pipeline, compressor stations, and related facilities. These 15 direct jobs are expected to support an additional 14 indirect and induced jobs. Maintenance and operations expenditures related to the Project are expected to generate approximately $1.9 million in labor income in the project area each year.

Click here to view the full Penn State study.

Was the route for the Central Penn Line chosen because it is less expensive than upgrading the existing Transco pipeline?

The existing Transco pipeline system is extremely capacity constrained in New Jersey and Southern Pennsylvania, as it operates in very densely populated areas. The Central Penn Line has been designed with fewer landowner and environmental impacts than could be accomplished by adding the same amount of looping and compression to the existing Transco pipeline. Attempting to do so would result in greater impacts to residential and development areas, land uses, forest lands, agricultural lands, wetlands and water bodies. In addition, because of encroachment of residential and commercial structures along the Transco system, certain areas would be nearly impossible to loop and would require other greenfield portions to be constructed, further increasing the overall impact of the project.

Will this gas be exported overseas?

We expect the vast majority of natural gas transported by this project will be consumed domestically in markets along the East Coast, displacing natural gas which previously originated in production areas located within the Gulf of Mexico. Domestic commercial, industrial and power generation markets throughout the Mid-Atlantic and southeastern United States will benefit from this new access to abundant and economic Marcellus gas supplies.

Pennsylvanians will consume natural gas transported by this project. The Transco pipeline already provides 1/3 of the natural gas consumed in Pennsylvania. For 50 years that gas originated in the Gulf of Mexico. Today, an increasing amount of that gas is coming from Pennsylvania. Once the Atlantic Sunrise project is placed into service, it will even further extend the reach of our existing Transco infrastructure so that those existing Transco customers in Pennsylvania and other parts of the country (local distribution companies, manufacturers, power plants, etc.) will have direct access to Marcellus supply originating in northeastern Pennsylvania. This is highly sought after because the price of natural gas sourced from this Marcellus supply area trades at a lower cost than natural gas originating from other gas supply basins (such as the Gulf of Mexico or Canada). So for example, even though your local distribution company may not be an Atlantic Sunrise customer, they can still contract directly with a Marcellus producer to receive gas supply via Atlantic Sunrise. The bottom line: all of Transco’s customers, including those in Pennsylvania, will benefit from the direct access the Atlantic Sunrise project will provide.

How is this expansion serving customers as far south as Alabama?

An important component of this project is the addition of facilities that will allow the Transco pipeline to flow gas bi-directionally. The natural gas supply landscape has shifted as a result of new gas discoveries, particularly those located in the Northeast. As a result, pipelines like Transco are being modified so that gas that used to flow south-to-north can also flow north-to-south. In 2001, just 2 percent of U.S. natural gas production was from shale gas. By 2011, shale gas accounted for 34 percent of total US natural gas production. By 2020, that share will grow to 64 percent.

Who are your customers?

Our customers are a mix of nine producers, local distribution companies and power generators located in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast.

It is important to note that even though your local distribution company may not be an Atlantic Sunrise customer, it can still contract directly with a Marcellus producer to receive gas supply via Atlantic Sunrise.

How do you expect this project to affect the price of natural gas?
  1. This project will provide customers in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast access to economically-priced natural gas originating from the largest gas supply region in the country.
  2. Because of a lack of pipeline infrastructure, during times of peak demand some Transco customers currently pay up to 25 times more than the price of gas traded on the spot market in Pennsylvania.
How large is the natural gas supply area accessed by this project?

The supply in the Marcellus-Utica is the single largest natural gas deposit in the country. In fact, the Marcellus produces more natural gas than all of Canada. Despite low commodity prices, the Marcellus Shale remains the country’s most active production area (more than 16 Bcf/d), accounting for 89% of the nation’s total growth in natural gas production (EIA).

 

What is the purpose of pipeline open houses?

The FERC pre-filing process is a collaborative process, and one of the first opportunities that interested parties have to learn more about the project is during our open house meetings. These meetings are designed to facilitate a dialogue between the landowner and the pipeline company, allowing the landowner to point out information or express feedback that can ultimately affect the pipeline route. It is also a chance for the Williams team to gather additional information on potential issues that may exist within the study corridor so that we can identify solutions to those issues in our pipeline design. To date, such feedback has resulted in changes to more than 30 percent of the original pipeline alignment.

Why is the Atlantic Sunrise expansion needed?

The Transco pipeline transports 10% of the natural gas consumed in the U.S. For decades the majority of that gas originated in the Gulf of Mexico, but today an increasing amount of that gas is coming from Pennsylvania. Once the Atlantic Sunrise project is placed into service, it will extend the reach of our existing Transco infrastructure so that natural gas consumers all along the East Coast (local distribution companies, manufacturers, power plants, etc.) will have direct access to Marcellus supply originating in northeastern Pennsylvania. This is highly sought after because the price of natural gas sourced from this Marcellus supply area trades at a lower cost than natural gas originating from other gas supply basins (such as the Gulf of Mexico or Canada).

ENVIRONMENTALOpen All

How is Williams working to minimize impacts to agricultural areas?

Williams has developed a Draft Agricultural Construction and Monitoring Plan for the Project, which documents the measures it would follow to minimize and mitigate effects on agricultural lands. In addition, Williams has proposed to provide an agricultural inspector that would be on site to monitor construction activities within agricultural lands and would hire a subject matter expert to provide guidance to ensure these lands are restored to their original uses and crop yields. The Draft Agricultural Construction and Monitoring Plan also includes mitigation measures to minimize impacts on and/or meet the needs of specialty agricultural crop areas (i.e., orchards and tree farms), certified organic farms, and no-till farms.

What impact will the project have on wildlife?

From the draft Environmental Impact Statement: “Given the impact avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures proposed by Transco, as well as our recommendations, we conclude that the construction and operation of the Project would not have a significant adverse effect on wildlife, including migratory birds.” (ES page 33)

Williams has already obtained project clearances for wildlife impacts from Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission and the Pennsylvania Game Commission (reroutes are still pending approval).

How will the project cross waterbodies?

Crossing of waterbodies will be conducted in accordance with applicable state and federal permits, and with project-specific procedures. Williams will utilize various methods for installation of the pipeline across waterbodies, depending on waterbody classifications and flow conditions at the time of crossing. This will include utilizing trenchless construction methods to avoid impacting environmentally sensitive areas. The company has coordinated with federal and state agencies throughout the regulatory process to develop appropriate crossing methodologies for all waterbodies.

Williams is proposing to use trenchless crossing methods (conventional bore or HDD) for eight of the waterbody crossings, including both Susquehanna River crossings and the Conestoga River. Implementation of the mitigation measures outlined in Williams’ Environmental Construction Plan and other project-specific plans would help avoidance or minimize temporary impacts on surface water resources.

How would construction of the project impact wetlands?

No permanent wetland loss would result with the implementation of the project.

Construction of the pipeline facilities associated with the Project would affect a total of 50.4 acres of wetlands. Eighty eight percent of those impacts (44.0 acres) would be considered temporary impacts.

Williams will conduct routine wetland monitoring of all wetlands affected by construction until revegetation is successful and will implement mitigation measures to control invasive species as described in its Environmental Construction Plan.

From the draft Environmental Impact Statement: “Based on the avoidance and minimization measures developed by Transco, as well as our recommendation, we conclude that impacts on wetland resources would be effectively minimized or mitigated.” (ES page 32)

How will Williams mitigate for unavoidable environmental impacts?

Working closely with state and federal permitting agencies, Williams has developed specialized installation plans and mitigation techniques that result in avoiding or minimizing the effects of pipeline construction.

To mitigate for unavoidable wetland impacts, Williams has developed a compensatory mitigation plan which establishes 5 mitigation sites in Lycoming, Bradford, Lancaster, Schuylkill, and Columbia Counties.

Although no permanent wetland loss would result from the implementation of the project, Williams currently proposes to add approximately 25.16 acres of compensatory mitigation through the implementation of these 5 sites.

Williams has also taken steps to exceed traditional compensatory mitigation to even further offset environmental impacts related to the project. Working with The Conservation Fund, Williams has provided $2.5 million for conservation projects located within the project area. Together, these projects will result in the restoration of over 10 miles and 30 acres of streamside habitat, the creation of almost eight miles of new trails expected to be used by around 200,000 people, and the storage of approximately 925 tons each year of manure, which reduces quantities of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium entering nearby streams and improves water quality.

How do you ensure compliance with environmental permitting requirements?

Full time, qualified Environmental Inspectors will be employed during construction to ensure compliance with required environmental mitigation measures. Inspection teams will be overseen by a Lead Environmental Inspector, and construction oversight also will be performed by FERC third-party monitors. PADEP and/or the local conservation districts will also perform inspections during construction and restoration.

How much of the project has been collocated with other infrastructure corridors?

More than one-quarter of the project footprint leverages existing infrastructure corridors to minimize environmental disturbances.

What conclusion did FERC reach in its final Environmental Impact Statement?

The FERC’s final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), issued in December 2016, concluded that environmental impacts would be reduced to “less than significant levels” with the implementation of mitigation measures proposed by the company and FERC. The FEIS also contained additional mitigation measures the company must follow, as well as other minor route alternative recommendations.

 

 

Why do you file draft Resource Reports with FERC?

Draft Resource Reports are submitted early to give FERC and cooperating environmental agencies an opportunity to review the data and provide comments prior to our application submittal. This is a normal part of the pre-filing process, designed to ensure that the certificate application is thorough and complete. The FERC and the cooperating agencies will submit comments that will be incorporated and addressed in the final Resource Reports provided with the 7(c) Application.

How do you minimize environmental impacts?

Williams works very hard to minimize impacts to landowners and the environment. Williams sites pipeline corridors within or adjacent to existing utility corridors, when practical, to minimize environmental disturbances.  During the analysis of potential pipeline routes, extra effort is taken to identify sensitive areas of ecological or historic significance. Teams of field scientists, archaeologists and biologists conduct detailed environmental surveys and evaluations of potential study corridors; searching for threatened or endangered species; sensitive wildlife and vegetation habitats; wetlands and water bodies; and areas of archaeological significance.

Will groundwater be affected by construction?

The Project is not expected to negatively impact water quality or supply during or after construction. This point was confirmed in FERC’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement, issued in May 2016: “…the project is not likely to significantly affect groundwater resources because the majority of construction would involve shallow, temporary, and localized excavation.”

Williams proposes to implement construction practices to minimize potential impacts on groundwater during construction, which will be detailed in the project Environmental Construction Plan. Additionally, Best Management Practices for erosion and sediment control, as well as equipment refueling and management of incidental use of hazardous materials, will be implemented during construction activities to prevent impacts on water quality.

Do you avoid all cemeteries and burial grounds?

Williams does not intend to site through or to disturb any cemeteries during the survey process or during pipeline construction. If we are made aware of a cemetery, we will revise the route accordingly to avoid all cemeteries, including (but not only) Euro-American and Native American.  To our knowledge, no background data shows that the current primary route passes through or near any Native American or Euro-American cemeteries, and no information was provided during the open houses to indicate that the route would affect any cemeteries.  Williams and the FERC will consult with Native American Tribes in or near the project to determine locations of cultural significance, including the location of cemeteries and burial grounds. There is a possibility that human remains could be discovered during the archaeology studies, as shallow shovel testing is performed.  However, if human remains are discovered, surveys will stop, the site will be placed back to pre-disturbance condition, and the route will be revised accordingly.

What methodology is used for cultural resource surveys?

In conducting the cultural resources survey for the Atlantic Sunrise Project, Williams is following the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission’s (PHMC) Guidelines for Archaeological Investigations in Pennsylvania (Revised November 2008) and Guidelines for Architectural Investigations in Pennsylvania(2014).  The specific methodology for the cultural resources survey was discussed at an initial consultation meeting with PHMC staff on 1 May 2014.  The PHMC issued concurrence with Transco’s proposed methodology, and the Unanticipated Discovery Plan, in letter correspondence dated 11 June 2014 and email correspondence dated 26 June 2014.

Does the pipeline jeopardize the Tucquan Glen nature preserve?

As a result of feedback Williams has received from stakeholders during the FERC pre-filing process, we have made adjustments to more than 20 percent of the Central Penn Line, including adjusting the route so that it bypasses environmentally sensitive areas such as Tucquan Glen and Shenks Ferry. Although project mapping provided to FERC shows the original route through Tucquan Glen, that route is no longer being pursued. Rather, in future mapping it will be depicted as an alternative – only because it is a route that was evaluated, not because it is a route that we are currently pursuing.

LANDOWNERSOpen All

How is Williams working to minimize impacts to agricultural areas?

Williams has developed a Draft Agricultural Construction and Monitoring Plan for the Project, which documents the measures it would follow to minimize and mitigate effects on agricultural lands. In addition, Williams has proposed to provide an agricultural inspector that would be on site to monitor construction activities within agricultural lands and would hire a subject matter expert to provide guidance to ensure these lands are restored to their original uses and crop yields. The Draft Agricultural Construction and Monitoring Plan also includes mitigation measures to minimize impacts on and/or meet the needs of specialty agricultural crop areas (i.e., orchards and tree farms), certified organic farms, and no-till farms.

Can I still farm the land after the pipeline is installed?

Yes. After construction of the pipeline, most uses of the surface of the land will be allowed, including farming activities such as crop production or raising livestock. Two notable exceptions include planting trees within the easement or placing a permanent structure within the easement, both of which are prohibited.

I’d like to get some gas from Transco. How do I do that?

The existing Transco pipeline is used for transporting natural gas to market areas where it can be distributed by local gas utility companies or used as fuel in power generation facilities. Contact your local gas utility company to ask about natural gas service.

When you’re finished with construction, what restrictions will I have on the use of the right of way?

You may return to normal surface uses of the land with limited restrictions. However, any digging—even for fencing, vegetation or drainage—is prohibited without first contacting the local One-Call system (simply dial 811) or a Williams representative. No trees may be planted on the right of way. This is to (a) maintain a clear aerial surveillance of the right of way, and (b) prevent tree roots from damaging the pipeline coating. For more information on these restrictions, contact a Williams representative.

Will I still own my land? Can I still use it?

It is important to note that an easement does not transfer title of the land to Williams; it merely grants the right to use the land for the specific purposes stated in the easement agreement. After construction of the pipeline, most uses of the surface of the land—including farming activities such as crop production or raising livestock—will be permitted.

What if I don’t want the pipeline on my land? Can you take my land?

This is always a very sensitive issue and we assure you that it is not our desire or intent to obtain an easement from the landowner through the right of eminent domain—often referred to as “condemnation.” Do we have the right to condemn for an easement? Generally, once the FERC issues a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for a project, the company may—by virtue of the authority granted in the United States Natural Gas Act—seek authority from the court to obtain the limited rights necessary to construct, operate and maintain a pipeline. Contrary to the condemnation process that the landowner might experience for a highway, park or other public structure, your land would not be “taken” from you. The courts would merely grant the right for Williams to construct, operate and maintain the pipeline. The landowner would retain ownership and surface rights of the land—just as if an easement had been granted. The courts would determine fair market value, again based on the accepted appraisal practices discussed above.

Will the presence of a pipeline affect my ability to get a mortgage?

In FERC’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), issued in May 2016, the agency said:

“…We are not aware of landowners having problems obtaining mortgages for properties crossed by pipelines. A comment was filed supporting this view from a senior vice president of the Lancaster-based Fulton Bank. It states that, while the presence of a utility easement is always accounted for during the appraisal process, the presence of a pipeline is not taken into account when the final determination is made on whether to offer financing.”

In October 2014 FERC addressed the issue of the impact a pipeline could have on a property owner to obtain a mortgage. The FERC concluded: “Furthermore, based on our experience in reviewing natural gas pipelines across the United States, we have never documented an instance where a FERC-jurisdictional pipeline project has affected the ability of a prospective buyer to obtain a mortgage. We therefore find these claims to be unlikely.”

In 2016, the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America Foundation (INGAA) published the results of a study entitled “Pipeline Impact to Property Value and Property Insurability.” The goal of the study was to determine the effects of natural gas pipelines on real estate values, insurability and the ability to obtain a mortgage. The study included data from both rural and suburban areas. The study demonstrated that the presence of a natural gas pipeline had no effect on obtaining a mortgage.

Will the presence of the pipeline affect my homeowners insurance?

The FERC addressed this issue in its Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), issued in May 2016. It stated: “…we do not anticipate that the Project would adversely affect homeowners’ insurance rates, the ability to acquire a new homeowner’s insurance policy, or that insurance policies would be discontinued due to the presence of a natural gas pipeline on a property.”

Williams operates 15,000 miles of transmission pipeline across the country. It has been our experience that insurance underwriters have not considered the presence of a transmission pipeline when determining the cost and coverage of property insurance. In fact, insurance advisers consulted on other natural gas projects reviewed by FERC have indicated that pipeline infrastructure does not affect homeowners insurance rates.

In 2016, the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America Foundation (INGAA) published the results of a study entitled “Pipeline Impact to Property Value and Property Insurability.” The goal of the study was to determine the effects of natural gas pipelines on real estate values, insurability and the ability to obtain a mortgage. The study included data from both rural and suburban areas. Insurance companies and agents interviewed said there was no indication that the presence of a natural gas pipeline would hinder a buyer’s ability to acquire property insurance. They also said there was no indication that premiums paid for insurance policies would increase because of the proximity of a natural gas pipeline.

What will the presence of the pipeline do to my property values?

Historically speaking, natural gas pipeline easements have had little or no impact on property values.

In its Draft Environmental Impact Statement, issued in May 2016, FERC cited multiple studies which support the position that the presence of a natural gas pipeline has little or no impact on property values.

One of those was a 2016 study by the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America Foundation (INGAA) entitled “Pipeline Impact to Property Value and Property Insurability.” The goal of the study was to determine the effects of natural gas pipelines on real estate values, insurability and the ability to obtain a mortgage. The study included data from both rural and suburban areas. The ultimate finding of the study was that there is no measurable impact on the sales price of properties located along or in proximity to a natural gas pipeline versus properties which are not located along or in proximity to the same pipeline.

In addition, the January/February 2011 edition of the International Right of Way Association (IRWA) publication, Right of Way, includes a study entitled “The Effect of Natural Gas Pipelines on Residential Value.” The results of this particular study, which used methodologies similar to those used in the INGAA study, showed that the researchers could “…not identify a systematic relationship between proximity to the pipeline and sale price or value.

How will the value of the easement be determined?

The valuation of the easement will be determined by the market value of land in the area as determined by independent sources. These sources can be county deed and tax records, local appraisers, real estate brokers and other real estate professionals. Factors considered generally include length, width, existing land use and comparable land sales in the area. Impact to the remaining property may also be considered. This information will be shared with the landowner and fair compensation will be offered. We encourage the landowner to provide any other relevant information that may be considered in establishing a fair market value. In addition to the value of the easement, the landowner will be compensated for any actual damages to their property during construction. Such damages may include loss of crop, timber, pasture, or landscape features (or landscape use). Settlement of damages may occur before or after pipeline construction. Damage to fences, gates, roads, drainages, etc., will be repaired prior to the contractor leaving the site. The landowner will be asked to acknowledge completion of and satisfaction with the restoration activities.

What size will the easement be?

The amount of land required for the easement will vary on each tract of land depending on a number of factors. A Williams land agent will discuss the land requirements with the landowner during the easement negotiations. In areas where there is no existing Transco pipeline easement, the width of the new permanent right of way will be limited to 50 feet. If there is an existing easement on the property, we will typically need an additional 25 feet of permanent easement for operation and maintenance of the new pipeline.

What is an easement?

An easement is a limited right to use the land for specific purposes. If Williams need to acquire a new easement, we will compensate the landowner for the right to construct, operate and maintain an underground pipeline (and, in limited cases, above-ground equipment related to the pipeline such as valves).

What is the width of the survey corridor?

The width of the survey corridor is approximately 600 feet. This width provides us greater flexibility when making final routing decisions.

If I don’t agree to have my property surveyed, will you condemn my property?

Williams will only survey a property if we are given permission by the landowner. Ground surveys are a preliminary first step in gathering critical information that can be used in developing a pipeline proposal. We perform ground surveys for numerous route possibilities, and many of the properties surveyed will be nowhere near the permanent pipeline easement.

What is the purpose of pipeline surveys?

Ground surveys are a first step in gathering critical information for developing a pipeline proposal. Generally, each property will be visited by various specialists in land, engineering and environmental sciences. These visits may or may not be concurrent, but no one visit should last longer than one or two days. Some properties may need to be revisited to obtain additional data. During the survey, vehicular traffic will be confined to existing roads and access ways. Nothing will ever be removed from your property without your explicit permission. After the survey teams are finished, you may see survey stakes or ribbon tied to fences or vegetation. These markers are necessary to maintain a line of sight for the areas that have been surveyed. Our survey crews will take every precaution to ensure no damage to your property or disruption of your daily activities will occur.

Will I be notified if the pipeline is going to affect my property?

Landowners whose property may be affected by the proposed route will receive a letter or a personal contact from a Williams land representative notifying them of the various surveys that will take place on their property. All potentially affected landowners should have received a packet of information from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and from Williams advising them that their property may be affected by the pipeline project. This letter also includes the dates and locations of public meetings and instructions for getting additional information.

Clinton County

Economic Impact
$23.5 Million

Jobs Supported

Labor Income
$23.5 Million

What supporters are saying
Explore More

While the zip code you entered is outside the project area, the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline has an economic impact beyond the project area by providing consumers along the East Coast with access to reliable, cost-effective natural gas supply. In fact, access to reliable, cost-effective natural gas supply is powering an American manufacturing revolution while also lowering the energy costs of regular consumers who use this energy to cook meals and power their homes. This project, for instance, would provide enough natural gas to meet the daily needs of more than 7 million American homes. Estimates made by researchers at The Pennsylvania State University forecast the Atlantic Sunrise project to result in an estimated $1.6 billion increase economic activity in the project area during construction. For more information about the study, please download and read the executive summary, the market area analysis and the final report.​


Explore More