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Natural gas pipeline along I-5 built in 1963

As I recollect, a natural gas pipeline was built in about 1982-1984, running north-south to the east of Interstate 5. That project didn't generate much publicity back then. The sky has not fallen since then. Can you compare the proposed LNG pipeline project to the existing natural gas pipeline. I'm interested in the diameter of the pipe, depth that it's buried, noting that it too crosses streams and the Rogue River, with no apparent mishaps in the last 30 years.

— Jim H., Medford

Like the rest of us, Jim, your memory gets a little hazy with the passing of years. You correctly recall there was a natural gas line installed long ago in the region.

Dan Kirschner, executive director of the Northwest Gas Association, tells us the Williams-owned Grants Pass Lateral was installed in 1963. None of Williams' existing pipelines cross the Rogue River.

He reminds us the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline is a natural gas pipeline, not a LNG pipeline. The proposed pipe between Malin and Jordan Cove would be 36 inches in diameter and would be designed, built and operated similarly to the Williams-owned Northwest Pipeline, a 10-inch Grants Pass natural gas pipeline running parallel to I-5.

The Pacific Connector would be buried with a minimum of 36 inches of cover over the pipe, which is deeper than the federal minimum requirement of 30 inches. Along rivers, farmland and roads, the pipeline would be buried even deeper. Williams, which would be a half-owner of the Pacific Connector, operates about 15,000 miles of underground interstate natural gas pipelines, including many that cross rivers and streams.

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