If you live or work near a pipeline, it’s important to know who to call, what permissions you might need and what to do if something goes wrong. Safety and damage prevention start with just one click or call.

How Do I Know Where the Pipeline is?

A pipeline follows a linear corridor of land called a right-of-way, which allows our workers to access our pipeline for inspections, maintenance and emergencies.

Markers are used to indicate the approximate location of the pipeline as well as important safety information, including the type of product carried, the local One Call number and Trans Mountain’s 24-Hour Emergency Notification Line. Right-of-way pipeline markers do not provide an exact location and are in place only to help indicate that an underground pipeline is in the area.

Pipelines are the safest and most efficient way to transport petroleum products to market. However, a pipeline can be damaged when there is direct contact with it during excavation or other ground disturbance activities. These incidents commonly result from work being done near the pipelines without our prior knowledge or consent, and can lead to severe consequences, such as product release, personal injury, service interruptions and costly delays to parties.

Activities Not Permitted on the Right-of-Way

For everyone’s safety, we don’t allow certain activities on the right-of-way. These include but are not limited to:

  • Constructing buildings, foundation walls, decks, concrete patios or sheds
  • Installing any type of swimming pools or hot tubs
  • Using explosives
  • Burning waste material
  • Storing flammable materials, equipment or bulk goods
  • Parking vehicles and RVs on top of the ROW (except designated roads and parking lots)
  • Growing or planting large or deep-rooted vegetation or trees

The mature growth of vegetation on the right-of-way must not exceed one metre (three feet) in height within three metres (10 feet) of the pipeline and 1.8 metres (six feet) on remaining portions of the right-of-way.

For more information about landscaping near our pipeline click here.

What Activities Can I Do On or Near the Right-of-Way?

Many activities and projects can be undertaken near the pipeline, but before you begin any work, the first step is always to contact your local One Call service. This is a FREE service. If your proposed work is within 30 metres (100 feet) of our pipeline, a Trans Mountain representative will call you back within three business days in Canada (two in Washington state) to arrange to meet with you on-site, mark our pipeline and issue a 30-Metre (100-Foot) Ground Disturbance Permit.

Complete a One Call notification at clickbeforeyoudig.com.

Activities that Require a Permit and/or Written Consent

In Canada, the area covering 30 metres (100 feet) from the centre of the pipeline, and often extending beyond the right-of-way, is known as the prescribed area. When two pipelines are co-located within the same right-of-way, the prescribed area is measured from the centre of the outermost pipeline on each side.

Under Canadian regulations, any ground disturbance activities in the prescribed area require a permit from us. We apply the same stringent measures to our assets in the Puget Sound area of Washington state.

To learn more about permitting click here.

The existence of the prescribed area does not mean development of the land cannot occur within the 30-metre area. However, restrictions on land development apply to the right-of-way area.

Activities that are normally allowed on the right-of-way, with permission, include:

  • Raising crops, growing fruits and vegetables and grazing livestock
  • Flower beds
  • Ornamental landscaping, lawns and low and shallow-rooted shrubbery
  • Crushed gravel pathways, sports fields and golf courses (subject to advance approval)

Activities that may be permitted with Trans Mountain approval:

  • Installation of fence posts
  • Plowing of fields at a depth
    • In Canada – less than 45 centimetres (18 inches)
    • In the US – less than 30 centimeters (12 inches)
  • Crossings for roads, driveways, ditches
  • Underground or overhead utilities, such as water, phone or power
  • Paving
  • Parking

Agricultural Activities

Normal agricultural activity, at a depth less than 45 centimetres (18 inches) in Canada and less than 30 centimeters (12 inches) in the US, is permitted on the right-of-way.

Agricultural activity includes any work of producing crops and raising animals and includes plowing, disking, harrowing and pasturing.

It does not include the construction of new buildings or impervious areas or the placement of footings, foundations, pilings or posts, including fence posts.

Farming or deep tillage at a greater depth than permitted can be a threat to the safety of the pipeline as well as you, your livestock, the public and the environment. If any deep tillage is planned, please notify us by calling your local One Call service.

If You Come in Contact with the Pipeline

No matter how minor the damage may appear, if you come in contact with the pipeline, you must contact Trans Mountain immediately by calling our 24-hour emergency line at 1.888.876.6711.


Even slight damage – a gouge, a dent, a scrape – can impact the structural integrity of the pipeline. Never attempt to repair it yourself. It takes a qualified Trans Mountain technician to inspect and repair any damage. In the case of an emergency excavation for urgent work, notify your local One Call service to request an emergency locate. Your call will be prioritized accordingly.