If you live or work near a pipeline, there is important safety information that you should know. In this section you will find information about the right-of-way, vegetation and landscaping guidelines, as well as simple steps you can take to protect the pipeline.

Right-of-Way

Most of Trans Mountain’s pipelines are located on property owned by others within a strip of land called a pipeline right-of-way. The right-of-way agreement, or easement, provides us with unimpeded access to the pipeline for aerial and ground surveillance, maintenance activities, and emergency response. A visible clearly marked right-of-way ensures the safety of landowners and communities through which the pipeline passes, as well as the protection of the pipeline itself.

Vegetation, Landscaping, and Structures

We conduct regular landscaping maintenance such as mowing, trimming, or removing shrubs, trees, or other vegetation that might interfere with the safe operation of our pipelines.

While some activities on the right-of-way are restricted in accordance with the National Energy Board regulations, many land uses are permitted  For your safety, it is important to know and understand what is and isn’t allowed on the right-of-way.

You must obtain Trans Mountain’s prior approval for any projects which might affect the right-of-way. Whether you choose to undertake the work yourself or have hired a landscaper or contractor to do work on your property, always call your local One Call centre three business days before any work takes place..

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 shrubbery
  • Crushed gravel pathways, sports fields, and golf courses (subject to advance approval)
  • Trees, with restrictions, are allowed three metres or 10 feet on either side of the pipeline

Please note: Normal farming activities, located on previously farmed land, typically do not require permission for low-consequence activities. If you have any questions regarding what constitutes a low-consequence activity, please contact us.

Activities that are NOT allowed within the right-of-way include:

  • Operating motor vehicles or driving on the right-of-way, except on an existing road
  • Construction of buildings, structures, or foundation walls
  • Digging, drilling, or any power operated excavation
  • Swimming pools or hot tubs
  • Using explosives
  • Storing flammable materials, equipment, or bulk goods
  • Burning waste or materials

Activities that may be permitted with mandatory Trans Mountain approval:

  • Installation of fence posts
  • Plowing of fields at a depth greater than 12 inches
  • Crossings for roads, driveways, ditches
  • Underground or overhead utilities, such as water, phone or power
  • Paving
  • Parking

Maximum vegetation or plant heights The mature growth of vegetation on the right-of-way must not exceed one metre (or three feet) within three metres (or ten feet) of the pipeline and 1.8 metres (or six feet) on remaining portions of the right-of-way.

Tree Removal There may be instances where tall growing vegetation obstructs views for our aerial and ground patrols, or compromises access for inspections, maintenance, or emergency response. When this happens, we will work with the affected landowner on a tree removal plan and subsequent restoration of the disturbed area.

For more information, please download a copy of our landscaping guidelines

Farmers and Ranchers: Protecting your Land

Farmers are important land stewards. Often land has been in families for generations. It’s an important heritage to keep safe. Some farm work can put you in danger of damaging a pipeline, including:

  • Deep plowing
  • Digging
  • Sub-soiling
  • Tilling
  • Terracing
  • Installing a fence
  • Cleaning ditches

Normal farming activities on previously farmed lands usually do not require notice or permission. If you are uncertain what constitutes normal farming activities, please contact us. Always call your local One Call centre and request to have pipelines and underground facilities identified before you initiate any ground disturbance activity.