Common Questions and Answers

Who is proposing this project?

Northwest Pipeline (NWP), a Williams company, is proposing this project to provide our customer, Puget Sound Energy, with additional natural gas for its growing North Seattle market. NWP is a 3,900 mile interstate natural gas transportation system and is the backbone of natural gas delivery in the Pacific Northwest. NWP transported 89% of all natural gas consumed in Washington in 2015 and has provided safe and reliable transportation service to its markets for the past 60 years.


Why is this project necessary?

This project will enable NWP’s customer, Puget Sound Energy, to meet growing demands for natural gas in the North Seattle market area.


What will the project accomplish?

The North Seattle Lateral Upgrade Project will include removing up to 5.8 miles of NWP’s existing 8-inch diameter pipeline, replacing it with a 20-inch diameter pipeline, and upgrading the existing North Seattle delivery meter station.


What is the estimated project schedule?

Stakeholder outreach/open house                          4Q 2016

Request and conduct surveys                                   4Q 2016 – 1Q 2017

FERC filing and other permit filings                       2Q 2017

Initiate necessary land rights negotiations            2Q 2017

FERC order anticipated                                             2Q 2018

Pipeline construction begins                                     2Q 2019

Pipeline in service                                                       4Q 2019

Property restoration and landscaping                    4Q 2019 – 2Q 2020


When will surveys take place on my property?

The project requires various ground surveys in areas where construction activities will occur. Ground surveys include civil, environmental and cultural resource surveys. These surveys will provide a comprehensive view of natural resources and sensitive areas so that NWP can fully understand potential environmental issues. Various survey teams will conduct surveys between December 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017. If a survey team needs to return to do any additional work after March 31, a Land Agent will first contact you. NWP land agents will notify you regarding access to your property to complete these surveys. NWP seeks to work with each landowner to coordinate survey scheduling and access.


Will the project seek to obtain property rights outside the existing pipeline easement?

The vast majority of the construction activities will occur within NWP’s existing pipeline easement. In some cases, NWP may seek additional permanent and temporary land rights, which will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.


How will the project affect my property?

The east-west line illustrated on the map is the existing North Seattle Lateral, approximately 11 miles in length. Each mile of the lateral is labeled with mileposts (MP) from 1 to 11. The red line is the project area, and lies entirely within Snohomish County.

NWP will seek agreements with some landowners for temporary construction areas and access roads. If the pipeline crosses your property, the project will involve removing the 8-inch pipe and replacing it with 20-inch pipe. NWP will work with each individual landowner to ensure disturbed property is restored as close to original condition as is practical, in close coordination with the landowner.


Who regulates the project?

The lead agency for the project is the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Other oversight is provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), and by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, which governs pipeline safety in Washington and acts as an agent of PHMSA.


How safe is the pipeline?

Safety is core to every step Williams takes in constructing and operating all of its pipelines.

  • Pipeline representatives inspect the pipe at the mills during fabrication.
  • Protective coatings are applied at the mill and during construction to prevent moisture from coming into contact with the metal.
  • 100% of the welds linking the pipe joints are x-rayed to ensure integrity.
  • Once the pipeline is in the ground, it is filled with water which is then tested to a minimum of 1,440 pounds per square inch, and held at that level for at least eight hours, to ensure the pipeline’s integrity. However, the operating pressure will be similar to today’s pressure (~500-741psig).
  • After the pipeline is installed, a system is put in place to monitor and prevent corrosion.
  • Internal, electronic inspection devices are used to detect anomalies during periodic inspections.
  • Aerial and ground inspections of the pipeline right of way occur on a regular basis.
  • Personnel perform periodic maintenance inspections, including leak surveys, valve inspections and geotechnical assessments.
  • The entire pipeline will be monitored remotely 24 hours a day 365 days a year for safe operation.

NWP has safely operated in the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain Region for more than 60 years.


How would NWP respond if there was a pipeline emergency?

NWP has written plans and standard processes for responding to any pipeline emergency. These plans and processes are required and regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the State of Washington, and we fully comply with them. Our technicians are trained on their understanding of these plans and processes by conducting annual exercises with local fire departments and other local emergency response officials to ensure effective collaboration.


How will the project minimize environmental impacts?

NWP will consult with numerous agencies and native tribal governments and design the project to avoid, minimize and mitigate environmental effects in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. Oversight from environmental inspectors, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the State of Washington will occur throughout the entire construction process, including restoration.


How can I contact the project?

Rodney Gregory, Land Supervisor
Phone: (425) 741-1300

Land Office Address: 16504 9th Ave SE, Suite 101, Millcreek, WA 98012

Project Email

Project Website