Understanding the right-of-way

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.

For your safety and to protect the pipeline, written permission is required prior to planting any shrubs within the pipeline right-of-way. Structures and trees are prohibited within the right-of-way.