Call Before You Dig
To protect people and the environment, federal and provincial laws require anyone planning to excavate near a pipeline right-of-way (ROW) to call their local toll-free one-call number in Canada in advance of any excavation and to prevent and mitigate damage to pipelines. Before commencing any work near the pipeline right-of-way, you can arrange to have the pipeline located free of charge by contacting the One-Call centre in Alberta or British Columbia.
Alberta Energy Regulator
BC Oil & Gas Commission
AB & BC Common Ground Alliance
Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA)
National Energy Board
Right of Way
A pipeline right-of-way (ROW) is the strip of land in which the pipeline will be located. The width of the ROW may vary depending on factors such as pipeline diameter and the slope of the land, but it will typically range from 3-30 meters for the entire length of the pipeline.
The ROW enables employees and contractors to access the pipeline for inspections, maintenance, testing and in the rare event of an emergency.
Companies are given the rights to use this land for the construction, operation and maintenance of the pipelines, however, ownership of the land remains with the landowner.
The Safety Zone
The Safety Zone is the 30 meter (100 feet) area measured perpendicularly from the centerline of the pipeline. To ensure safety, excavation using mechanical equipment or explosives within this zone requires prior approval from the company.
To ensure safety, you will need to contact us to get written approval for a number of different activities on the right of way. These activities include, but are not limited to:
- Reducing the depth of soil covering the pipeline;
- Agricultural ploughing or tilling to a depth greater than 45 cm;
- Ground leveling;
- Installing drainage systems; and
A ground disturbance is ANY activity that may disturb the ground with the exception of the following:
- Routine and minor road maintenance (i.e. asphalt milling & overlay, routine gravel road shaping/grading , or snow removal);
- Cultivation to a depth of less than 45 cm below the surface of the ground;
- Activity to a depth of less than 30 cm and that does not result in a reduction of the earth cover over the pipeline to a depth that is less than the cover provided when the pipeline was constructed; or
- Crossing with a vehicle or mobile equipment that is used for agricultural activities provided that:
- the loaded axle weight and tire pressure of the vehicle or mobile equipment are within the manufacturer’s approved limits and operating guidelines; and
- the point of crossing has not been the subject of a notification from the pipeline company that crossing at that location could impair the pipeline’s safety or security.
Reporting a pipeline-related incident to our emergency phone number can help us pinpoint its exact location, allowing for an even faster emergency response.
To prepare for pipeline incidents, although rare, we maintain an Emergency Response Program (ERP), which includes:
- Appropriate hazard assessments;
- Comprehensive emergency response plans, emergency response training, and exercises; and
- Mutual Aid Coordination.
Request for Consent
All parties requesting consent for pipeline crossings or proximity (etc.), are to contact our land department at [email protected].
Minimum information that will be required for crossing or proximity requests include:
- A sketch, drawing, and/or survey outlining where the ground disturbance will be conducted
- Details on the field activities to be performed, including timing
- Vehicle Information (if crossing requested)
- Any other pertinent information
Myths and Truths about Safety and Damage Prevention
|Pipelines are buried so deeply underground that no project could possibly endanger them.||Typically pipelines are buried between one and three meters below the surface, although can be shallower. The depth of cover over a pipeline can vary for many reasons. Identifying the pipeline depth is through hand excavation or daylighting.|
|Company pipeline markers/signs show the exact location of the pipeline.||Company markers are there to indicate the presence of a pipeline in the area. A professional locate is necessary to know the exact location of a pipeline.|
|Markers/signs show the exact path of the pipeline.||Pipelines do not always follow a straight line between pipeline markers. There could be bends in a pipeline at any location. A locate is the only way to map the route of a pipeline. If your project extends beyond the limits of your first locate, you need a new locate to continue working safely. Note: Locates have an expiry date! Be aware of the lifespan of your locates which is typically 14 days from the date they were provided. You will need to reorder your located when they expire.|
|There are always equal amounts of cover across a pipeline.||Ground cover across a pipeline can be uneven due to erosion, terrain, or other factors.|
|The pipeline sits in the middle of the right-of-way.||Pipelines may be located anywhere within the allotted right-of-way. A professional locate is required to know where the pipeline is situated.|
|If there is no sign - there is no pipeline.||Not necessarily, the only way to know for sure is to Call/Click Before You Dig!|