Friday, August 3, 2012

Davidson College & PNG Reach Agreement on New Pipeline Route

Davidson College and Piedmont Natural Gas have reachedagreement on the
route a new PNG pipeline will take across college property. The 5,100-
foot section that crosses the college's land will be part of a 127-
mile line supplying natural gas to Duke/Progress Energy's Sutton power
plant inWilmington.

Davidson officials learned in late January of PNG's original planned
pipeline route, and at that time raised concerns about the significant
damage it would cause to the college's ecological preserve. The
preserve covers about 1/3 of the college's 600-acre property and is
the site of frequent scientific investigations by professors and

The two parties entered into negotiations at that time, and have now
reached agreement on an alternate route for the pipeline that runs
mostly adjacent to an existing utility corridor on college property.
Toward the southern end of the college's property, the route will turn
eastward and cross pastureland before exiting college property.

The agreement with the college gives PNG a new easement that ranges in
width between 65 and 70 feet, which is in addition to the existing 40-
foot easement that PNG already has on college property. By running the
new easement along the existing energy corridor rather than through
the ecological preserve, damage to the most sensitive areas of the
preserve is avoided. After construction is complete, trees will be
replanted along portions of the easement within the ecological
preserve to further minimize the long-term effect of the project.

Construction is expected to begin in late fall, and continue through
early spring. It will affect some parts of the college's cross country
trails, and the college will work to maintain as much access to the
trails as is safely possible during the construction period.