Enbridge’s pipeline system is an extensive network of buried pipelines and above-ground facilities such as storage tanks, pumping and compressor stations.
The system crosses thousands of properties as it travels across the continent. Rights-of-way exist in various locations, from river crossings to fields to urban areas to sub-Arctic tundra. Pipeline rights-of-way are acquired from landowners, other utilities, or government entities by obtaining an easement, permit, license, or, in limited cases, through purchase.
A right-of-way (ROW) is a strip of land usually between 18 metres (60 feet) and 36 metres (120 feet) wide, containing one or more pipelines. The ROW:
- Allows our workers access for inspection, maintenance, testing or in an emergency;
- Identifies an area where certain activities are prohibited to protect public safety and the integrity of the pipeline.
Pipeline rights-of-way can be identified by the pipeline markers – located at roads, railways, and other intervals along the ROW – which include the name of the operator, emergency contact information, and a general description of the product in the pipeline. Markers indicate the general location of buried pipelines only, and should never be used as a reference for the exact location of a pipeline. The one-call procedure must be used to properly locate pipelines prior to any soil-disturbing activity.
Pipeline rights-of-way should be kept be free of trees and permanent structures so workers can gain access for inspection, maintenance, testing or emergencies. For these reasons, activities such as paving, building permanent or temporary structures, and planting deep-rooted shrubs and trees are not allowed on the right-of-way.