When it comes to pipeline construction in wetland areas, it’s necessary to follow a number of construction and mitigation procedures, including those advised by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Such guidelines are intended to not only decrease the time it takes to complete projects in these areas but to also help minimize any impact on the environment. Requirements can range depending on where the project is taking place, so it’s important to pay attention to both state and federal regulations. No matter where you construct, pay attention to the following guidelines, which are just among many recommended by the FERC:
MAKE SURE ALL YOUR PRE-CONSTRUCTION PLANNING IS COVERED
It’s important to pay attention to spill prevention, and in the unfortunate event that a spill occurs, know in advance how the problem can be mitigated with a rapid response. Construction crews should also have the necessary tools on hand that can help stop spills, including absorbent and barrier materials. You’ll also want to make sure all employees are properly trained and that your construction equipment is in good working condition.
Keep fuel trucks only on approved roadways and limit hazardous material storage to only designated areas. Pumps should also feature appropriate containment systems. Utilizing equipment bridges can help prevent soil from unintentionally entering waterways, but it’s also important to remove such bridges once the project has been completed. Culverts can also be utilized to prevent bank erosion.
HAVE A RESTORATION PLAN READY
A good question to ask is: how do I leave the outdoor area in the best condition possible? Consider installing temporary sediment barriers and erosion control fabric in the direct aftermath, along with revegetating any areas that were disturbed during the construction process.
PAY ATTENTION AFTERWARDS
Carry out post-construction corrosion/leak surveys on a regular basis to make sure that the site is safe. Also, record wetland revegetation efforts to ensure that they’re working properly.
Pipeline construction can seem like an arduous task. But by closely following guidelines and planning in advance (see the FERC’s Wetland & Waterbody Construction & Mitigation Procedures), you can safely complete your project in a way that makes you proud, all while safeguarding the environment. Utilizing timber mats in the process can also help stabilize heavy construction equipment and keep it from negatively affecting the ground and wildlife.