FAQ

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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. Although the majority of the employment will be short term construction positions, Pacific Connector is projecting that over the course of construction there will be a need for over 3,000 skilled and talented craftsman to help build this exiting and much needed piece of American infrastructure.

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

Beyond the talented and skilled craftsmen needed to build this historic project, the local communities will also reap the benefits in such businesses as restaurants, service providers, rental property and housing, not to mention the long-term benefits of additional tax revenue that Pacific Connector will pay into the local communities for decades to come.

Pacific Connector will generate on average $5 million each for Klamath, Jackson, Douglas and Coos counties in annual tax revenue. Those tax revenues will help the local communities Pacific Connector goes through with school funding and the abilities of the local communities to enhance public services such as Police, Fire, EMS, and First Responders.

ENVIRONMENTAL Open All

How will the environment be affected?

Pacific Connector must adhere to the 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?

At Pacific Connector, safety is a core value and the safety of the public and our workers this pipeline is one of the highest priorities. In keeping true to our core values, Pacific Connector has incorporated measures into the design of the pipeline that will provide for added safety of the system. These measures include:

  • Automated mainline valves with pressure monitoring and remote shut off
  • Thicker, stronger steel for added safety
  • Additional quality control from the manufacturing of the materials through the construction of the project to assure quality of the system
  • Post construction but before operation, the pipeline will be tested to pressures higher than the operation will use to ensure the quality of the pipeline. The testing will be performed with clean water so that should a leak be found, any liquid released is clean water.
  • The pipeline will undergo regularly scheduled inspections throughout its operational lifetime that include inspections for both internal and external corrosion by the use of internal in-line inspection tools as well as the installation of a corrosion protection system.
  • 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 Haynes Inlet which 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 across the Haynes Inlet utilizing horizontal directional drills, which will result in the pipeline being installed dozens of feet 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 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 size will the easement be and how will the value of the easement be determined?

Pacific Connector’s intended easement will be a permanent width of 50 feet with the pipeline centered in that space. During the course of construction, in addition to the permanent easement, PCGP will be utilizing temporary work space adjacent to the easement for the entire distance of the pipeline. This work space is needed to safely lay out the pipe, weld together the pieces of pipe, dig and store the spoil excavated as part of the ditching process, and allow for safe travel of construction traffic along the project.

As for how PCGP determines the values offered for property, 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 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.

REGULATORY Open All

Is the FERC pre-filing process voluntary?

While the pre-filing process is not voluntary and is part of the Natural Gas Act, Pacific Connector entered the pre-filing process in January 2017. It is our opinion that 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 and 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 and federal permits—before any pipeline facilities can be built. Learn more about FERC on their website.

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 as the President. 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.

PROJECT Open All

What is the timeline for this acquisition?

There are a couple of milestones that need to occur beforehand (e.g., shareholder vote in mid July 2017 and approval of the acquisition from Canadian regulatory authorities) but the transaction is expected to close by the end of 2017.

It was recently announced that Veresen Inc. has entered into an agreement to combine with Pembina Pipeline Corporation. What does that mean for the Jordan Cove LNG Terminal and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline project?

This is good news for Jordan Cove, as Pembina intends to support the Project and is committed to moving it forward. As the press release states: “The combined entity will continue to build upon the momentum of the Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) development project as it progresses toward key regulatory and commercial milestones.”

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 could experience over 3,000 well-paying 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 advances in Natural Gas recovery techniques. While predicting the future energy market is difficult, we believe 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?

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 and thus the total impact on Natural Gas pricing is expected to be negligible as well. 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?

The Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline project will transport natural gas from connections to existing interstate Natural Gas pipelines in Malin, Oregon, to the to be constructed Jordan Cove LNG export terminal in Coos Bay. The project extends approximately 235 miles across Klamath, Jackson, Douglas and Coos counties.

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