Pipeline development has mitigated its impact on the environment through new methods and technologies. It is no longer required for construction crews to dig huge trenches into the ground, disrupting existing infrastructure like roadways or through rivers and lakes, to lay down pipe. With Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD), crews are able to more safely install pipelines underground, avoiding the need for open cut digging entirely.
HDD isn’t exclusive to pipelines either. It’s an environmentally conscious method that is used for an array of infrastructure projects. Water and sewage lines that supply homes and businesses are installed with this method. Telecommunication cables and fiber optic lines that bring us cable and the internet are put in the ground by HDD. Emergency call boxes, traffic routing systems, electric conduits – so many important aspects of everyday life are safely upgraded and implemented with Horizontal Directional Drilling.
This method of drilling is widely used for infrastructure projects that require the safe navigation of sensitive areas. And in almost every instance it is broadly accepted as the most effective, safe, and efficient means to install infrastructure with little to no negative impact on the environment. Yet when used for natural gas pipelines, HDD’s quickly become the unjust target of environmental activists, even though this method is used to protect the environment.
Today’s pipelines are constructed with safety as the forefront of every decision. This includes methods of drilling, and it’s easy to understand that drilling beneath the ground is safer, and better, than cutting it open. So when environmentalists attack the technique of HDD’s on the grounds of protecting the environment, they are actually advocating for more negative harm to the environment through open-cut, trench installation. Environmentalists attack HDD’s not based on expertise, but purely out of malice for pipeline projects in general. And do so hiding behind a veil of environmental concern.
While production of natural gas skyrockets, a clean-burning energy source that many of these same environmentalists favored not long ago, we must have the ability to transport it from places like Pennsylvania and Ohio to markets across the country. Horizontal Directional Drilling is simply the best way to construct the necessary pipelines. Any groups opposing the method must reconcile the fact that they are attacking a technique widely regarded as the safest way to install underground pipe and ultimately are advocating for more environmentally destructive methods.