Damage prevention is a shared responsibility between pipeline companies, regulators and the public. As a federally regulated pipeline, in both Canada and the United States, there are regulations and requirements for working in proximity to our pipelines. These obligations ensure the continued safe operation of our pipelines and protect those working near the pipeline, the public, property and the environment.

Before you start digging or building, it’s important to know who to call, what permits you might need and what to do if something goes wrong.

Always Click or Call Before You Dig

Before you begin any ground disturbance work, contact your local One Call centre to request the location of any underground utilities in the area.

At the planning stage:

  1. Visit ClickBeforeYouDig.com.
  2. Click on your province or state and complete a One Call notification. Or if you prefer to place your request by phone, in Alberta call 1.800.242.3447, in BC call 1.800.474.6886 and in Washington state call 811.
  3. If your planned work is near our pipeline right-of-way, a Trans Mountain representative will call you back within three business days in Canada (two in Washington state) to discuss your proposed work and if required, meet you on-site to provide information to safely conduct your work.

The One Call centre will require information, such as the planned start date of ground disturbance, an overview of your plans, how deep you’ll be disturbing the ground, location of work and the duration. The details provided to One Call will be incorporated into a 30-metre (100-foot) permit issued for your proposed work, should a permit be required. If the job scope changes, work should stop and a new One Call placed with an updated job scope.

Any approved work undertaken within 7.5 metres (25 feet) of the pipe requires one of our Pipeline Protection Inspectors to be on-site to ensure the safety of our pipelines. Our inspectors have the authority to stop any work that may pose an imminent danger to the pipeline.

When do You Need 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. 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.

Ground disturbance includes any work operation or activity, either below or at ground level, that disturbs or displaces the existing soil or ground cover.

Trans Mountain issues approvals for ground disturbance, installations and related activities under two types of permits:

30 Metre (100 Foot) Ground Disturbance Permit – A 30 Metre (100 Foot) Ground Disturbance Permit is required prior to any ground disturbance activity within 30 metres (100 feet) from the centre of the pipe.

Pipeline Proximity (Crossing) Installation Permit or “Proximity Permit” – A Proximity Permit is an additional requirement prior to a facility installation or crossing activity within the pipeline right-of-way. An additional risk assessment will be completed for all works within 7.5 metres (25 feet) of the pipeline.

Examples of activities that require a Proximity Permit include, but are not limited to:

  • New roads, driveways, trails or ditches
  • Underground utility installations, abandonments and removals
  • Fences, posts, bollards and permanent signage
  • Vehicle/mobile equipment crossings outside of established roadways – crossing the pipeline with either a vehicle or other motorized equipment, when not driving on an existing road, requires our written consent.

What Happens if You Don’t Place a One Call or Obtain a Permit?

Failure to notify us in advance through One Call, obtain necessary permits or follow the instructions of our Pipeline Protection Inspectors may be subject to monetary penalties as per applicable regulations.

Unauthorized activities may cause property damage and negatively impact public safety and the environment.

How Do I Apply for a Permit?

  1. Contact your local One Call centre and provide them with details of your planned activity
  2. Download a copy of our Pipeline/Right-of-Way Proximity Permit Application here
  3. Prepare your application and provide all the required details for us to access your application. See below for more information.
  4. Submit your application to a Trans Mountain permit representative by emailing [email protected] for permits in British Columbia and Washington state and [email protected] for permits in Alberta
  5. We will process the application and send a copy to the applicant for signature
  6. Applicant signs and returns applications to the Trans Mountain permit representative

Before beginning construction, call to arrange an on-site safety meeting with a Trans Mountain permit representative. At the meeting, the representative will:

  • Locate and mark the pipe
  • Issue a 30 Metre (100 Foot) Ground Disturbance Permit
  • Stay on-site for any work within 7.5 metres (25 feet) of the pipe

With all required documentation, a Proximity Permit can take up to 10 business days to process. Once we have reviewed and approved your plan, a Proximity Permit will be issued for the work detailed in the application (subsequent to any changes in the process). If your scope of work changes, you will need to notify us to approve any changes.

Copies of all permits must be kept at the job site and be available when requested by a Trans Mountain representative.

Detailed information on each of the permits you may need can be found below:

Special Project Considerations

For certain projects, additional information must be included in your application: