Picture of existing ROW clearing across NPS land; proposed Dominion ROW will be adjacent to this ROW with no clearing.

HDD ROW for 12 inch Underground Gas Line for Dominion Energy North Carolina 5-140-1951 (2020 project)

Blue Ridge Parkway » HDD ROW for 12 inch Underground Gas Line for Dominion Energy North Carolina 5-140-1951 (2020 project) » Document List

Dominion Energy North Carolina (DENC), has submitted an application for a right-of-way (ROW) permit for construction, operation, and maintenance of a segment of natural gas pipeline that would cross beneath the Blue Ridge Parkway (Parkway), a unit of the National Park System (NPS), at milepost 393.3 in Buncombe County, NC. The Blue Ridge Parkway has statutory authority (16 U.S.C. § 460a-3) to consider external applications for utility ROW permits across NPS land.

The DENC application is for a new 50-foot-wide right-of-way (ROW). The proposed DENC ROW would allow a segment of natural gas pipeline to be installed via horizontal directional drill (HDD) perpendicular to the Parkway, adjacent to an existing 143-foot-wide Duke Energy Electric transmission line ROW. The pipe would be located no less than 50 feet below the ground surface of the Parkway property, and at the location of the Parkway motor road surface itself, the pipe would be located approximately 115 feet below the surface. The HDD entry and exit points would be located off NPS property, more than 800 feet from the Parkway travel lane and 380 feet from the NPS property boundary. No additional appurtenances or facilities are proposed for construction on NPS property.

An Environmental Assessment (EA), written in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act, was developed to consider the permit application for ROW by evaluating any potential impacts to NPS resources from permitting the installation, operation, and maintenance of the proposed 12-inch natural gas pipeline. Public comments from traditionally associated tribes, stakeholders, residents, and the general public were received during consultation, as well as a 30-day public comment period held from January 7 - February 5, 2022 and were used in preparation of the FONSI. Comments included the following: impacts to water resources, greenhouse gas emissions, safety, placement of a pipeline within NPS lands, and consistency with NPS mission of permitting a utility ROW. Comments related to the larger utility project beyond the permit on NPS land were beyond the scope of the EA. Substantive comments are addressed in the appendix to the FONSI.

On November 18, 2022, Mark Foust, Regional Director of Region 2 of the National Park Service (NPS), signed a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) recommended by Blue Ridge Parkway Superintendent Tracy Swartout for permitting the Right of Way (ROW) for an underground natural gas pipeline within the Blue Ridge Parkway for applicant Dominion Energy North Carolina (DENC).

The FONSI can be found by clicking on the "document list" link on the left side or at the top of this page.

Contact Information

For questions regarding the ROW permit process 828-348-3433
For questions regarding the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) 828-348-3434