Utility has worked closely with property owners and public officials and is committed to safety and environmental stewardship
BALTIMORE, Aug. 5, 2011 – Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) today announced that it is launching a major natural gas pipeline installation project intended to promote continued reliability and address the increasing demand for natural gas service in five Maryland counties. Once completed, the new underground pipeline will enhance natural gas service to more than 200,000 customers in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Howard, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. The project will involve clearing a 14-mile stretch of land in Howard County beginning just north of Clarksville, Md., continuing southeast and ending just north of Laurel, Md. Clearances will extend approximately 50 to 75 feet on either side of where the pipeline will be installed. BGE has worked with local property owners and public and elected officials to explain the size, scope and benefits of this project. Clearing and pipeline construction are already under way and should be completed by the end of the year. The process of restoring the impacted areas will begin soon thereafter and is expected to be completed by next spring.
“BGE is committed to the safe and reliable delivery of natural gas to all of its customers and is making this $60 million investment in its natural gas system to ensure the current and anticipated future needs of its customers are met,” said Carol A. Dodson, senior vice president of asset management services for BGE. “In addition, we remain committed to environmental sustainability at BGE and understand the necessity of protecting our natural resources. While this project will significantly change the 25-acre landscape where the pipeline is being installed — because the area must remain clear to allow BGE to safely access, inspect and maintain the pipeline — BGE has already planted new trees and grass over roughly the same amount of acreage to offset any environmental impact. Additionally, BGE is leaving threatened and endangered species intact and rehabilitating two-acres of stream bank to address any potential impact to wetlands.”
The decision to install the pipeline along this particular route was made after careful and thorough evaluations of other potential options. The route was chosen because it provides the greatest benefit with the least amount of impact. The first half of the pipeline will be installed on large, primarily rural parcels where BGE has obtained easements. The second half will be installed where existing transmission lines are located. During construction, customers can expect temporary disturbances to the landscape as BGE goes through the necessary steps of clearing vegetation and installing the pipeline. After installation, BGE will return to the site to clean and restore the area.
Public safety is a top priority, and BGE will conduct regular aerial and ground inspections as part of its maintenance of the pipeline once constructed. BGE also has a formal program to prevent gas pipeline damage, which will help ensure the long-term safe operation of the pipeline.
BGE, www.bge.com, headquartered in Baltimore, is Maryland’s largest gas and electric utility, delivering power to more than 1.2 million electric customers and more than 650,000 natural gas customers in Central Maryland. The company’s approximately 3,000 employees are committed to the safe and reliable delivery of gas and electricity, as well as enhanced energy management, conservation, environmental stewardship and community assistance. BGE is an indirect subsidiary of Constellation Energy, www.constellation.com, a FORTUNE 500 company also headquartered in Baltimore, with subsidiaries that generate, sell and provide other energy-related services to customers throughout North America.