FAQ

Addressing your questions and concerns about the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline. Click on the icons directly below to find information about specific categories or simply explore all FAQs below.

CONSTRUCTION Open All

How many jobs will be created during construction?

Pacific Connector will be a major investment in the energy infrastructure of southern Oregon and offers short and long-term economic benefits to the region. At peak construction in the second construction season, Pacific Connector will create over 1,800 new jobs. The average monthly workforce is expected to be 1,400 workers over a 2 year construction period.

The total Pacific Connector construction payroll is estimated to be $240 million.

During the 2 year construction season the total jobs Pacific Connector will support is estimated to be 4,600 jobs for a total payroll estimated to be $317.3 million.

Operation of the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline is expected to initially require 5 new permanent Operations Technician employees.

The potential local benefit of an interstate natural gas pipeline is its opportunity to attract large manufacturing companies and other businesses to locate in southern Oregon, further expanding job creation.

Pacific Connector will generate on average $3 million each for Klamath, Jackson, Douglas and Coos counties in annual tax revenue.

ENVIRONMENTAL Open All

How will the environment be affected?

Before Pacific Connector is approved to construct the pipeline, it must fulfill the strict requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act and the State of Oregon Department of Environmental Quality in addition to other federal, state and local agencies.

The pipeline route avoids environmentally sensitive areas to the extent reasonably possible and measures are taken to minimize or mitigate any impacts.

Pacific Connector has consulted with numerous agencies and native tribal governments and planned the project to avoid, minimize and mitigate environmental effects.

SAFETY Open All

What will you do to make sure this pipeline project is constructed and operated safely?

For the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline project, we will demonstrate our commitment to safety through the following:

  • At the steel rolling mills where the pipe is fabricated, pipeline representatives will carefully inspect all new pipe throughout the fabrication process to assure that it meets safety standards set by industry and federal regulations and our own specifications that exceed industry and government standards. The average operating pressure of the pipeline will be approximately 1,150 pounds per square inch near the midpoint of the pipeline.
  • The strength of steel pipe will be at least 28% greater than what is required to safely contain the maximum allowable pressure in the pipeline, which is 1,480 pounds per square inch.
  • Prior to placing the line into service, the pipe will be strength tested for at least eight hours at a minimum pressure of 1,628 pounds per square inch. Welds joining the pipe will be 100% x-rayed to ensure their integrity.
  • External protective coating is applied to the pipeline to prevent external corrosion. In addition, after the pipeline is installed, a cathodic protection system will be installed to monitor and prevent external corrosion. The cathodic protection system is monitored and maintained by certified technicians.
  • Internal, electronic inspection devices (smart pigs) will be used to detect anomalies in the pipeline during periodic federally-mandated inspections.
  • Aerial and ground inspections of the pipeline right of way will occur on a regular basis.
  • Operations technicians will perform periodic maintenance inspections, including leak surveys, valve inspections and geotechnical assessments.
  • To ensure safe and dependable operation the entire pipeline will be monitored remotely 24 hours a day 365 days a year for safe operation.
What about seismic risks?

Underground steel pipelines generally perform well in earthquakes. The greatest threats to Pacific Connector in the event of an earthquake include faults, unstable soils or certain types of land movement. Pacific Connector’s routing and construction are designed to avoid and mitigate these potential threats.

Tsunami modeling studies have been done for the pipeline’s route within Haynes Inlet. The modeling conservatively predicts up to 3 feet of temporary scour along that route during a magnitude 8.7 tsunami event. Pacific Connector will install the pipeline at a minimum depth of 5 feet in the Haynes Inlet, well below the 3-foot temporary scour depth.

 

Who has oversight over the safety of interstate pipelines?

The United States Department of Transportation (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 Gas Association and 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, we are committed to maintaining the highest standards of safety, utilizing construction and operational procedures that meet or exceed already stringent industry regulations. Once operational, the new pipeline will be maintained and operated according to procedures outlined in the Operators Integrity Management Program and Operations and Maintenance procedures. The pipeline will be operated and maintained by highly qualified and trained personnel who will live in the communities along the pipeline route.

LANDOWNERS Open All

What size will the easement be and how will the value of the easement be determined?

The compensation amount will vary based on property characteristics (such as size, location, zoning, land use, etc.), so there is no ‘typical compensation’ guideline that can be provided. Each affected property owner will be given a detailed workbook describing the size and location of the easement, temporary extra workspace and access requirements. The workbook will include a copy of the market analysis used to determine the easement value. Landowners will have opportunities to present additional information that may be considered in the negotiating process. Compensation will be included for any additional impacts the pipeline easement may have, such as disrupting customary use of the land. The compensation for the necessary land rights will be made in a one-time lump-sum payment, notwithstanding that prior option payment(s) may apply in certain circumstances. Compensation for any additional impacts relating to the installation of pipeline facilities will be made as required during and after construction.

What is an easement?

An easement is a limited right to use the land for specific purposes. Click here for information about the easement process.

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

Many factors contribute to the assessed value of a parcel of property and the price someone is willing to pay for it. In some areas in the Pacific Northwest, the value of property has increased after installation of a natural gas pipeline due to enhanced landscaping, addition of recreational space and other benefits. Various studies (including analysis from independent academic institutions) reported land value before and after pipeline construction and concluded there was generally no significant impact on the sale price of land. Click here for more information on working with landowners.

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

Yes, landowners whose property may be affected by the proposed route will receive a letter or a personal contact 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) 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.

How will landowners be compensated for the use of their land?

Pacific Connector will seek a permanent easement from landowners along the proposed Pacific Connector route and will negotiate for land rights in a fair and equitable manner based on established land valuation practices. An easement is a limited right to use the land for a specific purpose. Pacific Connector will compensate landowners for an easement to construct, operate and maintain an underground pipeline and, in limited cases, above-ground equipment related to the pipeline such as valves, pipeline markers and corrosion protection equipment.

PROJECT Open All

Will there be any local benefit from construction?
  1. Costs for materials and equipment bought in or brought into Oregon are estimated to be approximately $464 million.
  2. During construction approximately $33 million would be spent on local contracted services such as logging, hauling and other professional services.
  3. Estimated local expenditures include approximately:
    • $47.4 million by non-local workers for housing, expenses, etc
    • $151.6 million in local worker compensation
    • $108.4 million on construction materials
  4. The total construction spending in Oregon and Washington as a result of the combined Jordan Cove and Pacific Connector projects would average $1.7 billion annually over a four year construction period.
    • As a result the GDP of Oregon and Washington would be approximately $434.6 million higher during each year of construction.
    • On average Oregon and Washington would experience 5,100 more jobs over the four years and labor income would be $330 million higher.
Originally, this project was going to import natural gas. Now it’s going to export. How do we know it won’t change again?

Less than 10 years ago, virtually all energy analysts agreed the U.S. was running out of oil and natural gas energy sources and had no choice but to import more petroleum and natural gas. In a matter of a few years, the outlook for energy in the U.S. (and in the world) changed dramatically as enormous reserves of energy previously considered inaccessible were opened up due to drilling technology advances. While we can’t predict the future energy market, it is unlikely to change soon. U.S. natural gas reserves are estimated to be near 2,718 trillion cubic feet and these reserves are estimated to meet America’s diverse energy needs for more than 100 years. Pacific Connector will create energy infrastructure and provide southern Oregon with valuable options, opportunities and advantages for its future.

Will exporting LNG increase the price of natural gas?

It’s difficult to predict whether this or any other project would have an impact on the price of natural gas; however, the volume of natural gas involved in this project is such a small fraction of total North American production that any impact is expected to be negligible. The most important thing to consider is the fact that gas is currently being sold at near record low prices, which is not sustainable. We’re in a situation of oversupply where many producers are sustaining a loss for producing natural gas and are shutting in production. An increase in demand will result in price stability, which will benefit producers and consumers of all types in the long run, whether industrial, commercial or residential customers.

How does Pacific Connector impact and benefit the U.S.?

Southern Oregonians understand the economic importance of exports. Since 2010, Oregon exports totaled more than $73 billion, with China and Canada being Oregon’s top two export destinations. In 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy studied the question of exporting natural gas and concluded that a measured, balanced approach would result in a net economic benefit to our country.

What is the Pacific Connector project and why is it needed?

The Pacific Connector natural gas pipeline project will transport natural gas from Malin, Oregon, to the Jordan Cove LNG export terminal in Coos Bay. The project extends 232 miles across Klamath, Jackson, Douglas and Coos counties.

At peak construction, Pacific Connector will create over 1,800 new jobs and Jordan Cove LNG in Coos Bay will create 2,100 new jobs. Pacific Connector will generate on average $3 million each for Klamath, Jackson, Douglas and Coos counties in annual tax revenue.

REGULATORY Open All

Is the FERC pre-filing process voluntary?

We voluntarily entered 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 is more complete than if we were to file 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.

Who decides if the pipeline project gets built?

Interstate natural gas pipelines are regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Pipeline companies must obtain a federal Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity—in addition to various state permits—before any pipeline facilities can be built. Learn more about FERC on their website.

How long does the process take?

The timeline for federal review and pipeline construction varies depending on the size of the project. Take a look at our project timeline.

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

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 that has been designated by the FERC as sensitive for national security or privacy reasons. You can learn more about the FERC and our partner’s regulatory and project siting processes here.

Who makes up the FERC?

The 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. Find more on the FERC commissioners here.

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 the potential effects of construction and operation on the environment and community.

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