Preliminary Route Mapping
Project representatives begin the survey process by contacting each landowner in advance to request permission to survey and stake the preliminary route for environmental, engineering and construction evaluations. Our goal is for every landowner to understand all of the proposed features of the pipeline prior to construction, including:
- Underground depth;
- Pipe size;
- Temporary and permanent width of the easement; and
- Any above-ground equipment that may be located within the pipeline easement.
A Temporary Construction Agreement may be used to address and specify mutually agreed-upon landowner requirements.
Field surveys are critical for gathering information that will be used to determine the best possible pipeline route through our communities. Surveys are conducted with minimal disturbance to landowners. We consider the geography and ecology of the environment, as well as an area’s architectural, historical and archaeological features. These surveys can be divided into the following categories:
Engineering surveys are how we take relatively large-scale, accurate measurements of the earth’s surface. We do this to establish base marks to control construction and to indicate land boundaries. This process typically takes two days and usually involves crews of two or three people using lightweight, GPS-enabled instruments to take measurements related to terrain and topography. The only evidence that a civil survey has taken place is the colored flagging/ribbon or small wooden stakes placed in the ground to identify specific geographical survey points, such as wetland or property boundaries.
Environmental surveys are performed to map and catalogue existing environmental conditions. They are critical to provide a comprehensive view of natural resources, so that we can better understand potential environmental issues within the Project area. These field surveys are conducted by highly qualified scientists and environmental experts (ecologists, botanists, biologists) who have detailed knowledge of the plant and animal species and natural communities that may be present on the site. Initial environmental surveys last just a couple days for each property. Scientists carefully examine the survey area on foot, identifying and mapping species habitat and completing thorough biological inventories. Some areas may require additional, more in-depth species-specific biological surveys. These surveys must be done at appropriate times during the year to adequately survey for all listed species. The duration and methods will vary widely depending upon the species being surveyed.