In this week’s episode of the Pipeliners Podcast, host Russel treat speaks with Lori Ferry and Chris Siok from Burns & McDonnell about permitting, routing, and environmental issues.
In this episode, you will learn how to make sure you obtain the correct permits for your project through collaboration with environmental and engineering teams early on, consider other outside environmental factors, and ensure the permits are still deemed valid as things can change daily.
Pipeline Permitting: Show Notes, Links, and Insider Terms
- Lori Ferry is a department manager within the environmental services division of Burns & McDonnell. Connect with Lori on LinkedIn.
- Chris Siok is a section manager within Burns & McDonnell. Connect with Chris on LinkedIn.
- Burns & McDonnell is a family of companies bringing together an unmatched team of 10,000+ engineers, construction professionals, architects, planners, technologists, and scientists to help those who work in critical infrastructure sectors deliver on their imperative responsibilities. With an integrated construction and design mindset, the company offers full-service capabilities with more than 60 offices, globally. With a mission unchanged since 1898 — make clients successful — Burns & McDonnell partners with companies on the toughest challenges, constantly working to make the world an amazing place. Learn more at burnsmcd.com.
- Pipeline Permitting is the process of applying for permission to install a pipeline over a certain area of land
- API (American Petroleum Institute) represents all segments of America’s natural gas and oil industry. API has developed more than 700 standards to enhance operational and environmental safety, efficiency, and sustainability.
- Pipeline Right-of-Way is a strip of land encompassing buried pipelines and other natural gas equipment allowing them to be permanently located on public and/or private land to provide natural gas service.
- GIS (Geographic Information System) is a system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present spatial or geographic data.
- CAD (Computer Aided Design) is the use of computer software to support the creation and visualization of a design, typically in industrial settings.
- RFP (request for proposal) is a project announcement posted publicly by an organization indicating that bids for contractors to complete the project are sought. The RFP defines the project for the company that issues it and the companies that respond to it.
- Permit Matrix is a list of all federal, state, and local permits that need to be obtained before the project’s construction.
- Nationwide 12 serves as a general permit under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. It is designed to streamline the federal permitting process for qualifying oil or natural gas pipeline activities that have insignificant environmental effects.
Pipeline Permitting: Full Episode Transcript
Russel Treat: Welcome to the Pipeliners Podcast, episode 243, sponsored by Burns & McDonnell, delivering pipeline projects with an integrated construction and design mindset, connecting all the elements, design, procurement, and sequencing at the site.
Burns & McDonnell uses its fast knowledge, the latest technology, and an ownership commitment to safely deliver innovative, quality projects. Burns & McDonnell is designed to build and keep it all connected. Learn more at burnsmcd.com.
Announcer: The Pipeliners Podcast, where professionals, Bubba geeks, and industry insiders share their knowledge and experience about technology, projects, and pipeline operations. And now, your host, Russel Treat.
Russel: Thanks for listening to the Pipeliners Podcast. I appreciate you taking the time, and to show the appreciation, we give away a customized YETI tumbler to one listener every episode. This week, our winner is Russell Terry with R&D Measurement. Congratulations, Russell, your YETI is on its way. To learn how you can win this signature prize, stick around until the end of the episode.
This week, Lori Ferry and Chris Siok with Burns & McDonnell join us to talk about permitting, routing, and related environmental issues. Lori, Chris, welcome to The Pipeliners Podcast.
Lori Ferry: Thank you.
Chris Siok: Hey, thanks, Russell. Glad to be here.
Russel: Before we get going, I’d like to ask you guys to introduce yourself, tell us a little bit about what you do at Burns McDonnell and how you got into your current roles. Lori, if you don’t mind, why don’t you go first?
Lori: Sure, thank you. Lori Ferry. I’m a department manager here in Burns & McDonnell within our environmental services division. I came here about five years ago. I’ve spent my entire career in environmental consulting, mostly on the oil and gas pipeline side for regulated and non regulated pipelines.
Really got my start being a biologist out in the field and walking the right-of-way. My only real claim to fame is that I walked the entire state of Nebraska for one of the pipelines that was built out there back in the late, early 2000s, I guess.
Then worked my way up there permitting and then into project management, and now manage a department that handles the field studies and permitting for the construction of not only oil and gas facilities, but really all industrial electric transmission and renewable facilities.
Russel: Awesome. Chris, same question for you.
Chris: Sure. Hey, good morning everyone, or whatever time of day it is you’re listening to this. Chris Siok, I’m a section manager here at Burns McDonnell. I’ve been here for about four years. I’m currently working out of our Southeast region, so I’m based in Atlanta.
I guess the way that I came up into the pipeline business is I went to college, got a mechanical engineering degree, and then went straight into the military. After I got out of the military, did that for a couple years, I got into pipelines actually up in Alaska.
I hail from Alaska. I got a job up there doing mostly oil field gathering, but doing above ground arctic pipelines and a couple others. Then from there, I actually moved a couple years later and joined the Burns and Mac team and started a lot more of the regulated transmission, local distribution, customer type work down here in what we call the lower 48.
I’ve been doing this for a couple years here now with Burns and Mac, and yeah, just happy to be here today.
Russel: Chris, what branch did you serve in?
Chris: I was in the Army, infantry officer.
Russel: Awesome. There you go. I asked you guys to come on to talk about permitting, routing, and all of that. I think to get the process started or our conversation started, I’d just like to ask a general question. What is the state of things when it comes to permitting?
Any of us in pipelining that reads the trades, we see all the things that are going on around all of the challenges getting pipelines permitted. What’s the state of things at this point?
Lori: Sure, I can take that one. I would say it’s contentious right now. Over the last several years, there’s been several regulatory changes. The opinions on oil and gas specifically have changed throughout the last several decades, but particularly in the last, I would say, 5 to 10 years.
That makes it really political. The change in the administration a couple years back, we saw wide changes in the permitting, the regulations. At one point under the previous administration, they had reduced the amount of environmental permitting that was required for some of these oil and gas facilities.
Then with that new change in the administration now, we see those coming back. That just causes an upheaval for people like us, who are trying to get permits for our clients, when the regulations are constantly changing. We might get approval at one time for a project to proceed under one certain guidance and then several months later, see that change.
Or if we have a permit in hand and the regulations change midway, and the client has not yet gotten a construction, that could require them to go back and get a new permit.
It’s been quite contentious, quite back and forth as well, and takes a lot of time to follow the regulations, see the comments that are out, or the regulation changes that are coming out for public comment, follow those, and then essentially contact all the regulatory agencies at one point or another to see how they’re implementing the new changes.
Russel: I think you said a mouthful there, Lori, particularly when you think about the federal is doing this, the state is doing this, the cities are doing this. There’s not a lot of consistency around the rules. While the rules themselves might not be changing, the execution of the process is blowing with the political winds.
Russel: I think you work in a very challenging environment. Chris, anything to add to that?
Chris: Yeah, from my perspective, a lot of the project work that I do is as a project engineer. When questions about permits come up, I phone a friend immediately. I call Lori, and I say, “Hey, I’ve got this question, or I have this situation on X project in Y state, and what do I do?”
I have a sense of what we should be doing, but I always phone that friend. Remember, Lori, when that Nationwide 12 went away? I think it was around that COVID time when it first started.
Lori: That’s right.
Chris: Things like that happen. It’s just like, I don’t know what to do normally, just as an engineer, with permits. Then you have a major revocation or a temporary pause on something that I’m normally going to for all my projects. It’s a lot of work to try and figure out what’s actually in effect that day for that project. It’s tough.
Russel: Yeah, what’s in effect for that day for that project and in that particular physical location. I think you’re right.
Lori: Some of the federal agencies are still trying to figure it out, to your point, Russel. Every district could implement the same regulation in a different way.
Russel: Oh, yeah, there’s that little detail as well.
Lori: They view temporary impacts and permanent impacts differently, challenging.
Russel: When you’re looking at a project, and you’re trying to put bounds around it from a permitting perspective, what are some of the things you’re thinking about?
Lori: Really, on linear projects we do try to look at a wider corridor than what the route is planned in. For environmental constraints, we’ll look at a wide corridor on that center line to try to identify as many things as we can to allow the engineers to have enough space if they need to make route adjustments and things like that so that our field surveys are covering that area, and we don’t have to remobilize.
That our constraint analysis is already covering those areas, and we know what the permitting triggers could be, again, in the event that there was a route change. Then we also do the prep, of course, to identify all of the permits upfront.
Just any of the project impacts that could trigger a permit, we try to get together a list, reach out to those regulatory agencies upfront, and get all those requirements out and in front of our team.
Russel: For those that don’t really work in permitting, what are some of the kinds of things that would trigger different permit requirements?
Lori: Environmentally, if you look at forested wetland clearing, that’s one of the big ones, because, for the federal agencies, that could require additional mitigation dollars that have to be paid if you clear forested wetlands. If you want to fill a stream or a wetland, that is, take it out of being a wetland or a stream, that again causes the client to incur more costs.
We also try to take a look at threatened and endangered species for impacting any of that habitat.
Russel: Yeah, that’s…I did another podcast recently with a gentleman from API on right-of-way management. We were talking about what some of the opportunities are when you come up against things like endangered species. They talked about a particular project that was done where there was a hawk that was endangered, and where the females hunted on the ground, and the males hunted in the air.
They actually were able to build the right-of-way to support the environment for that endangered species. That’s certainly beyond permitting, but it’s one of those things that I think is a consideration, is what are you up against, and then there are considerations that are engineering outside of just building the pipeline, I guess, is what I’m trying to say.
Lori: Yep, that’s true. Even when you do try to reroute around those things, and you try to open routes in open fields or agricultural areas, that may come with another whole host of problems, too. A lot of the landowners don’t want their farmland disturbed, don’t want their topsoil compacted, which are all potential risks for construction. Even open ground isn’t necessarily the best way.
Russel: What is necessary to be successful in putting a project together and getting successfully permitted? What are some of the key things you have to do to be successful with that?
Chris: I’m going to begin and start with this one here. I think scope is really important. Is the scope vaguely defined when you get involved with trying to create the permit support for the project, or is it already mature, and you’re just being brought in at the very end?
It’s tough if you don’t know where the pipeline is going to permit it. “Reroute” is one of my favorite words. You have this plan, and you have this route. Then everybody’s in line. You have all the field surveys done, and we’re all stacking hands, and then a landowner issue comes up, or something comes up, and then you have to reroute around.
It’s almost back to square one, in some senses. For me, from the engineering perspective, it’s all about getting that scope definition and knowing what’s where. Then hopefully, the rest of the pieces fall in place.
Lori: For us, having that collaboration as a team on some of the projects that Chris and I have worked on has been really helpful, that all aspects of the project have been managed by Burns & McDonnell staff. We already have that internal coordination, and those relationships.
I can reach out to the land person directly, find out if there’s any landowner issues. I reached out to Chris. “Have there been any changes that maybe you didn’t mention to me, or any other changes that you see coming down? I’ve got field crews that are going out into the field.”
We can preemptively plan, especially if there are changes coming up, and try to handle things quicker.
Russel: That actually tees up my next question, which is who are all the parties that you’ve got to be coordinating with? Just in terms of roles, that’s got to be a long list.
Chris: Internally, Lori mentioned a couple there. The engineering team and then the environmental and permitting team. Then also we have right-of-way services as well, and that’s the three legged stool that I see, or the trifecta. Those are the big drivers. Also, always with consideration for construction.
Then behind the scenes, then you have these other more superficial, or I guess, deeper down layers, maybe, where it’s the GIS department or the CAD and drawing production, and all those not necessarily at the front or tip of the spear, to use your phrase.
These other groups of people that need to come together and get in alignment. Sometimes, we see some challenges between different softwares, like GIS people who are doing some mapping for Lori, they might have a different…What is the word?
Lori: We can’t see CAD files.
Chris: Yeah, exactly, right. We have issues with CAD files and GIS. We figure it out, but the first couple times you work with the project team, it’s not always smooth. There’s that growth curve and learning. Then once you do it a couple times over and over, then Lori and I, we speak a language where it’s like, “Hey, you need this stuff, you need that stuff?” Then you just make it happen. It’s the whole supporting cast behind us is what I’m getting at.
Russel: Chris, I think you make a really interesting point. This is not something I had thought about, but there is, projects are often in operating companies not done consistently, meaning they just don’t do a lot of projects. Particularly, small to midsize operators, and in particular, utilities or other kinds of assets that are somewhat mature.
They just don’t do projects very often. There is a whole dynamic because of the diversity of skills and the diversity of things that need to occur, where those that are doing those projects more frequently tend to build a team. They build the formal and the information communication lines that allow things to go forward smoothly.
You’re teeing that up. You’re saying you have these three legs between land, permitting, and construction engineering that are driving things, but there’s all the other organizations that support or either before, during, or after the project, they’re going to be impacted by all that. That’s a big deal, too.
Again, I think there’s a whole lot bound up in what you’re saying there.
Chris: Yeah, absolutely. I do think that that happens on all “sides” of the project as well. The owner operators, the consultants. We see recurring teams all across the board, including common subcontractors or field survey providers. Once you get that “A Team,” everybody trains, and you keep doing these projects 5, 6, 7, 10 times a year, then after you do that for five years, you’re going to be a pretty well oiled machine.
Russel: If you don’t do a project for 24 months, you’re starting over from scratch.
Chris: Yep, it’s a little rough start there, cold morning.
Russel: In another podcast, in another topic area, I could tell some horror stories about that. I think it’s easy, too, if you do a project, if you’ve done a bunch of them in your career, and then you haven’t done one for a while, it’s pretty easy to operate on some assumptions that are not valid. Lori, anything to add to that? What’s your take from just a permitting standpoint?
Lori: I was going to say, just adding to that team, working, taking the client’s needs into perspective is also really important. Working with the same client, you get to know what their desires or what their needs are, too, but we could easily identify a permitting hurdle or a species habitat and maybe work with the engineering team to try to avoid it or try to figure out something to mitigate for those impacts.
Then the client says, “Nope, we’re going this way,” or, “Nope, we’re doing this.” We have to follow that direction as well. We have to take their perspective into account when we’re looking at these projects as well.
Russel: Certainly, I can see that. You say client, talking about the pipeline operator. Oftentimes, I would assume, that’s not just like one voice. There could be multiple voices coming from the operator as well, depending on the department you’re talking about or the region you’re talking to. There can be very valid reasons why that’s so.
Lori: That’s right. They oftentimes have leads for land, leads for environmental, a project manager, a lead for engineering. We’ve got a lot of people that we need to coordinate and handle through.
Russel: In my experience with projects, the way I would frame this is it’s super important to know who to call for what questions, right? Just having a quick conversation or a quick exchange can head off a whole lot of things down the line.
Let’s pivot a little bit, if we might, and talk a little bit about the life cycle of a project. Can you walk us through what’s the life cycle from business development or leadership in the company saying, “Hey, here’s a project we need to do?” How do things roll out from there?
Chris: I can take the first stab at that, Lori. A lot of the time, the way that we get involved, at least, we will hear about the project ideally. We’ll hear about an upcoming linear project – a pretty big one, hopefully – just through not the rumor mill, but the network.
Socializing with clients and talking with them at different events and working on other projects. They say, “Hey, we’ve got this big one coming up.” “OK, great, sounds good. We’ll be here.” Then eventually, the RFP comes out. Then that’s the first official time.
The request for proposal comes out, that’s the first time that everybody really gets the chance to look at what the rough scope is. Sometimes, it’s pretty close. Sometimes, it’s not so close. Once you get that RFP, and everybody starts talking, and it’s above the table, we say, “All right, here’s the elephant. How are we going to eat it?”
Then you go through the bid/proposal process, and hopefully, you were selected, and all that. Then really, the first thing is you reset. It takes a couple months to get through the supply chain and really get a project team onboarded and kicked off.
Then you reset and say, “Hey, is this all still true?” Everybody has to, I think, look internally and say, “Hey, this is what we asked XYZ provider to bid on, and this is what we really need now.” We also look at ourselves and say, “Hey, are we still bringing the right people to this project? Do we need more people? Do we need less? Do we need different people?”
I think it’s rocky there in the beginning. Everybody resets a couple times, and then hopefully, you start to get into some sort of rhythm, where it’s, “All right, everybody. We’re doing a pipeline. It’s going to have five facilities. It’s from point A to point B. We might go to point C, but we’ll talk about that later.”
I think, really, just getting everybody on the same sheet of music, looking at one map, or one Google Earth KMZ. I think that the biggest, first challenge, is everybody to have a common operational picture.
Russel: You said something, Chris, that I think I want to underscore, because this goes directly to my experience. It’s something that less experienced engineers miss the importance of. That is, you have all this stuff where you have scope conversation.
Then you go through all the commercial negotiation, and then you’re starting the project. The question that you said, “Hey, is this all still true?” That is so vitally important, because now, the devil’s in the details. If you skip that and assume that everything you talked about two months before is still true, you’re probably setting yourself up for some pretty significant pain down the road. That’s been my experience.
Chris: You just start marching, and it might be in the wrong direction. Course correction can be pretty easy, if it’s early, if it’s caught early enough. The further you go, the harder it is, and the more costly.
Russel: Scope is easy to change when it’s still on paper.
Chris: That’s right.
Russel: Scope is hard to change when you’ve got people mobilized, and you’ve got ditches dug.
Chris: That’s right.
Russel: Lori, from your perspective, how do you see the project life cycle?
Lori: Once, if we’re part of that request for proposal, we’ll feed our environmental constraints into that. We’ll take a look at the route, identify what could be impacted, what potential pitfalls could there be building the route where it’s currently located.
Once the project kicks off, we’re in that support role, of course, to help the engineers identify those constraints, identify reroutes, if necessary. Once we get approval from the owner operator that we can conduct field surveys, our first course of action is to get boots on the ground.
We actually send crews out there, do biological, threatened and endangered species surveys, do cultural surveys, any other specialized survey that might be required in an attempt to, of course, fill out our permit applications and get the information over to the regulatory agencies, so we can start executing permits.
Russel: What about landowners, or is there any kind of formal process for surveying the landowners in terms of getting an inventory of any of their special needs?
Lori: Yes, our right-of-way department has to deal directly with those landowners. Those initial conversations typically are for survey permission. Right-of-way agents go out, they talk to the landowners, identify their concerns, tell them about the project and about what the process is going to be to obtain permits on their property, to obtain an easement on their property for the pipeline to go.
Really, that’s the time for the landowner to have a voice there to the land agent directly to identify if they’ve got something on their property they don’t want touched, or they are just absolutely against the pipeline going on their property.
Russel: I think that comes back to your comment earlier about you get boots on the ground, and you start getting permission to survey. I guess the point I’m trying to make is there’s a whole separate agenda beyond the surveying which is building the relationship with the landowners.
Lori: That’s right.
Russel: A lot about how you approach that and how you access their land, that is formulating the relationship.
Lori: Correct. That carries through the duration of the entire project. Those agents have a responsibility to listen to the landowners, report back to us on their concerns and really, in the end, to get that easement agreed to without going into a court process, which is something that typically owner operators clearly don’t want to do.
They have to deal with these landowners for their entire area. They’re typically stationed in that area. The owner operator resides in that area, so the last thing that they really want to do is have to go to any kind of court proceedings with landowners. Those agents are really critical to the entire duration of the project.
Russel: Those field operations people with the pipeline, they’re the ones that are going to have the long term relationships with the landowners.
Russel: Those landowners have those guys’ cell phone numbers and vice versa, right? They need to have that communication happening. One of the things that I wanted to talk about, and I don’t really know how to tee this up well.
We had talked before we got on the podcast here about the permit matrix. Tell us, what is a permit matrix, and how is that used? Who creates it, and how is it used?
Lori: Typically, that’s something that our environmental team would put together. As the project is proposed, we would develop a permit matrix that is simply just a list of all of the federal, state, and local permits that need to be obtained before the construction of that project.
It’s a list, typically in Excel. We contact the federal agencies based on the project impacts that we know of at the time. We identify what the permit trigger is, what the threshold of impacts could be, identify any other critical steps that need to be taken in order to obtain the permit, the agency processing time, and essentially what we do is utilize that matrix to track those permits that we get over the period of the entire project.
It’s something for the client to look at. It provides them a schedule on when we think we’re going to submit the permit, and when we think we’re going to get the permit. Clearly, we need to back out of our schedules, so that we show that we’re going to obtain all these permits well ahead of construction. It’s really something that’s maintained through the life of the project, so that we all are on par with what permits we need to obtain, and there’s hopefully no surprises.
Russel: I’m curious, just because I know so very little about permitting, just how long is that list, typically?
Lori: I would say typically maybe 20 lines or so. It really depends, but we do go all the way down.
Russel: That’s a project for what size of project?
Lori: That could be for a 60 plus mile pipeline project. It all depends on what kind of land you’re crossing, if you have multiple federal agencies involved, multiple states that you’re crossing, multiple local jurisdictions. It’s really important for those local jurisdictions for us to do that outreach to them upfront, too.
A lot of the time, counties or townships may not have websites. You might be calling somebody who’s just a volunteer in that county if you’re in a real rural area. Trying to get a hold of those permits, because those are really the ones that can come out of the woodwork.
You think you’re on the right path, and then some township says, “Oh, no, we have a sewer line permit or a manhole permit that you also need to obtain.” It’s really important to try to get also identified upfront, too.
Russel: Yeah. This is me trying to learn, trying to anchor to something I want to take away from this podcast. I would say there’s a correlation between the number of government entities that you’re physically involved with, state, local, federal.
There’s a correlation with the number of special land types, like national parks, farms, other right-of-ways, etc., that add to that complexity. Then there’s, I guess, the point you’re making, there’s this universe of unknowns that’s related to smaller, rural…
I mean smaller not necessarily in terms of size, but smaller in terms of population and the size of their county office, can also be one of the areas that drives the number of permits that might be required.
Russel: Or discovered and need to be required.
Lori: Yep, there’s a direct correlation. The bigger the project, the more permits are going to be required. It’s just more likely that you’re going to cross something that, another state land, or another conservation easement or something that you need to track.
Russel: I guess that’s also depending on what part of the country it’s in. If you’re in West Texas in one of these huge counties, it’s very different. A 60 mile project there is very different from a 60 mile project in New England, right?
Lori: Right, exactly.
Russel: You can cross three states in 60 miles in New England.
Chris: I have a couple thoughts on this from the engineering side. First of all, thanks for clarifying, Lori. I thought the permit matrix was created by magic.
Lori: Well, I have been called a magician.
Russel: That was perfect, Chris. That was awesome.
Chris: Really, it is a correlation. I’ll agree with that, but is it one to one? Your question was really timely, Russel, about how many permits for a project of X magnitude. Just two weeks ago, or maybe even less, Lori and I were working on a project for one of our customers in the Midwest area.
We said, “Hey, let’s run this thing down. We’re about to go out for a construction bid, and we want to make sure that we have all the necessary permits,” and there’s no answer key. We are using experience, judgment, and all the research and front end investigation to say, “Hey, we think this is complete coverage,” but sometimes, you miss them. I’m not going to lie, and that’s on me as much as anybody else.
One other subcategory in that permit matrix that we talked about is encroachments. A lot of times, that is executed by the engineering team. Sometimes, by the right-of-way team. Sometimes, it’s a joint effort.
Also easements aren’t always easy to find. There’s this old sewer line or this old T line, or there’s this old access easement. If it doesn’t get caught until the last minute because people just didn’t really have awareness of it, then everybody’s scrambling to get that encroachment agreement, which we consider a permit as well.
Russel: I think that’s a really interesting point, Chris, really interesting point. I want to wrap this up, because I think this is also one of the things where this is a topic area I’m not super familiar with. I have a notional understanding of it. It feels like we’ve skipped a stone across a very deep lake.
The question I want to ask to wrap this up is what should all pipeliners know about permitting? What would pipeliners that maybe aren’t involved in permitting regularly, what would you want them to take away from this conversation?
Lori: I would say that the collaboration between engineering and environmental would be something that you should focus on in the beginning. Make sure that you pick your project teams who have previous experience. Make sure you pick folks who, if you can, are somewhat local, and might have relationships with any of the landowners or the regulatory agencies in those locations. Chris, what do you think?
Chris: I absolutely echo that. You mentioned earlier, Lori, that the environmental and permitting team was more like a support role for the engineering or the routing team: yes and no. I want to push back on that some, too, because a smooth project from a permitting perspective is also easy to engineer and design typically.
I think it’s definitely a partnership, and the more that we can do on the engineering or even the construction side to understand the true details, and go and read those permits. Go read that Nationwide 12. What does fill mean in this county for this dredge and fill permit?
All those sorts of things I really am lacking on, I should do that more. I encourage everybody I work with, all the folks on my staff, like, “Hey, go get knowledgeable on that, and then you’ll be a better asset to work with alongside the permitting team, and really just be a more effective tool for this project.”
Russel: I think that’s awesome, Chris and Lori. I appreciate you guys, because it really illustrates the relationship you guys have as an engineer and as a permitting person, and how you try to work together. I think having that relationship, and really this is one of the goals of the podcast, is I think we do better jobs as pipeliners if we understand all the other jobs that have to occur.
If I have sensitivity for the challenges, complexities, and issues, and things for things I don’t do, but where people I’m working with, I become a lot more effective at having those conversations, and I become more sensitive to what the challenges they’re up against, and vice versa.
That facilitates better engineering, and that’s not just internal to the company. It’s also external. It’s the contractors, the operators, the landholders, the agencies. All of that is, the more we can have these kinds of conversations, the more we can understand what everybody’s trying to do better.
That’d be my takeaway. Find the folks that know and build a relationship, so you can ask questions.
Chris: For sure.
Russel: Ask questions early and often.
Russel: What do y’all think? Do you think I wrapped it up pretty good?
Chris: Yeah, I do. That’s it.
Russel: What about yourself, Lori?
Lori: We did great. I think that’s great.
Russel: Look, I appreciate you guys. This has been fun. I certainly have a better sensitivity to just what’s involved to be successful doing permitting and project execution, so thanks for your time, and I’ve really enjoyed the conversation.
Lori: Thank you. Thanks for hosting us.
Chris: Yep, thanks, Russel.
Russel: I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode of the Pipeliners Podcast and our conversation with Lori and Chris. Just a reminder before you go. You should register to win our customized Pipeliners Podcast Yeti tumbler. Simply visit PipelinePodcastNetwork.com/Win and enter yourself in the drawing.
If you would like to support this podcast, please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or wherever you happen to listen on your smart device. You can find instructions at PipelinePodcastNetwork.com.
Russel: If you have ideas, questions, or topics you’d be interested in, please let me know on the Contact Us page at PipelinePodcastNetwork.com or reach out to me on LinkedIn. Thanks for listening. I’ll talk to you next week.
Transcription by CastingWords