Co-location and existing right-of-ways
A more responsible solution for locating a natural gas pipeline would be to use more existing right-of ways, or colocation, in areas that have already utilized for roads and utilities.
Simply put, co-location means sharing or extending property that has already dedicated to utility infrastructure (eg. other pipelines, roadways, electrical transmission lines, railroad lines). This is in contrast to using virgin land, which would require more extensive construction, new access roads, and clear-cutting new permanent corridors. Among the benefits of colocation include reduction in forest fragmentation and other environmental impacts.
For Dominion’s mainline routes (AP-1 and AP2), the Atlantic Coast Pipeline would use only 6% of its length on existing or adjacent right-of-ways. (Over its entire 564 mile length, the pipeline use of existing easements is less than 12%.) These are among the lowest level among large pipelines in America, where the average co-location percentage is more than 50%.
Instead, the planned route cuts through virgin, environmentally sensitive areas in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, Blue Ridge Parkway viewshed and other green spaces that make up the Wintergreen community.
Yes, more co-location might be more expensive to Dominion. However, the ACP is projected to bring in more than $220 million in operating profits each year — for 20 years or more. Surely there’s room in the budget for a more responsible route.
Co-location is more respectful and responsible to the environment, private property, and rural, untouched communities.