American Society of Civil Engineers

Environmental Permitting for Pipeline Projects

by Alex Cohen, (ESA, Community Development, 5309 Shilshole Avenue NW, Suite 200 Seattle, WA 98107. E-mail:, Lisa Adolfson, (ESA, Water Group, 5309 Shilshole Avenue NW, Suite 200 Seattle, WA 98107. E-mail:, and Marjorie Wolfe, P.E., (ESA, Water Group, 522 SW Fifth Avenue, Suite 820 Portland, OR 97204, (Membership # 455576). E-mail:
Section: Regulations, Codes, and Standards, pp. 1382-1392, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Pipelines 2011: A Sound Conduit for Sharing Solutions
Abstract: Permitting for linear utility projects can be a key driver of schedule, alignment and usually cost. Early and proper management of permit identification and acquisition is a key element of a successful risk management strategy for any project. Permitting for linear pipeline projects presents unique and complicated challenges. This paper will discuss the challenges of permitting, strategies for managing permit acquisition, and perspectives on common permitting issues. Linear pipelines present a unique permitting challenge because they typically extend through multiple jurisdictions and, often, through resources with multiple local, state, and federal permitting agencies. Creating a permit acquisition strategy early in the planning phase can avoid delays in later stages of the project. Four key elements of environmental permitting that a pipeline project manager should understand are discussed in this paper. These are permit triggers, timing, cost and sequence.

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