Frequently asked questions (U.S.)
Learn more about land access and use, third-party damage prevention, and other important aspects of Enbridge’s U.S. Public Awareness Program near our pipelines and facilities.
Providing our stakeholders with the information they need to live, work and recreate safely near our pipelines is a top priority for Enbridge. Pipeline operators in the U.S. are required by federal law to carry out a continuing education program for excavators, affected public (people who live and work near our pipelines and related facilities), and emergency officials and public officials.
Each year we send pipeline safety brochures to approximately one million residents and businesses, school officials, emergency responders, public officials, farmers and excavators near our pipelines. The brochures includes information on:
- How to contact Enbridge in an emergency
- How to identify the signs of a pipeline release
- How to react or respond in the event of a pipeline emergency
- The purpose and reliability of pipelines
- Preventative measures taken by Enbridge to maintain the safe operation of our pipelines and facilities
- How to dig safely near pipelines and other underground utilities, including information on laws requiring one-call notification before any digging activities begin
Enbridge also communicates with these audiences through other outreach activities, including (but not limited to):
- In-person and online training for emergency responders (fire, law enforcement, 911 dispatch, EMS, emergency management, and local government) through our Emergency Responder Education Program, and emergency preparedness training, exercises and drills for emergency responders.
- Newspaper, radio and online advertising campaigns promoting safe digging practices and information on how to recognize a potential pipeline emergency and how to reach or respond should an emergency occur
- Pipeline safety meetings for emergency responders and excavators
- Face-to-face meetings with administrators at schools in the immediate vicinity of our pipelines (through the Danielle Smalley Foundation)
- Door-to-door visits with residents and businesses near the pipeline
- Sponsoring booths at local events to educate members of Enbridge's host communities about pipeline safety
To find out more about how Enbridge communicates with its stakeholders or for information about pipeline safety in your area, please contact us.
- 877-799-2650 (non-emergency calls only)
Enbridge has a program of preventative measures to promote the safe, reliable operations of our pipelines and related facilities. These measures include:
- High-quality pipeline material, anti-corrosion coatings and cathodic protection (a low-level direct current to inhibit corrosion)
- Pressure testing of new and existing pipelines
- Inspection and preventative maintenance programs
- Monitoring of pipelines and related facilities
- Frequent aerial and periodic ground surveys of the right-of-way
- Installing automatic shut-off valves and remote control valves
Enbridge supplements its comprehensive maintenance procedures with Integrity Management Plans. These programs provide greater protection in high consequence areas. For more information, please visit our Integrity Management page or call 877-799-2650.
Given our thorough maintenance, testing, training, monitoring and safety programs, a pipeline leak is unlikely. In the event of an incident, Enbridge will work with local emergency responders to secure the area and get you the information you need to stay safe.
If you experience a pipeline emergency, first call 911, then call Enbridge’s toll-free 24-hour emergency number for your area.
For more information about Enbridge-operated pipelines in your area—including pipeline size, contents transported, or pipeline location—please contact us.
- 877-799-2650 (non-emergency calls only)
For information or questions about Enbridge’s right-of-way, please call the Enbridge right-of-way hotline for your area:
- Illinois; Indiana; Kansas; Michigan; Minnesota; Missouri; New York; Ohio; Eastern Oklahoma; Wisconsin; North Dakota; Eastern Montana Enbridge Land Services: 855-869-8261
- Texas; Western Oklahoma; Mississippi; Arkansas; Louisiana Enbridge Land and Right of Way: 877-496-8147
Be observant of unusual sights, sounds and odors along the right-of-way and immediately report anything out of the ordinary by calling Enbridge’s 24-hour emergency number for your area. You might see:
- Dirt being blown or appearing to be thrown into the air
- Liquid on the ground
- A white vapor stream or mist-like cloud over the pipeline
- Oily sheen on water surfaces
- Dead or dying vegetation in an otherwise green area
- A dry area in a wet field
- Flames coming from the ground or appearing to burn above ground
- Discolored snow or vegetation
- Continuous bubbling in wet or flooded areas
You might hear:
- A roaring, blowing or hissing sound
You might smell:
- An unusual skunk or rotten egg odor*
*Crude oil carries a skunk or rotten egg odor. Natural gas transported through cross-country transmission and gathering pipelines like those operated by Enbridge is typically unodorized and may carry a faint petroleum scent or no odor at all, but hydrogen sulfide will carry a rotten egg odor.
What to do in the event of a pipeline emergency:
- If you can do so safely, turn off any mechanized equipment. Move as far away from the leak as possible in an upwind direction.
- Avoid contact with escaping liquids and gases.
- From an upwind location, call 911.
- Call the toll-free, 24-hour emergency number for your area.
- Follow instructions provided to you by Enbridge and local emergency responders.
What NOT to do in the event of a pipeline emergency:
- Do not touch any liquid or vapor that may have come from the pipeline
- Do not drive into the area or start your car
- Do not light a match
- Do not turn on or off anything that may create a spark, including cell phones, telephones, light switches, vehicle alarms and flashlights
- Do not operate pipeline valves
If you do not know the location of the leak, shelter-in-place:
- Immediately go indoors and lock all windows and outside doors.
- If you are operating equipment or a motorized vehicle, turn the engine off and immediately go indoors.
- Turn off appliances or equipment that circulate air such as exhaust fans, gas fireplaces, gas stoves, heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
- Turn down furnace thermostats to the minimum setting and turn off air conditioners.
- Leave open all inside doors.
- Avoid using the telephone, except for emergencies, so that you can be contacted by emergency response personnel.
- Stay tuned to local radio and television (battery-operated) for possible information updates.
- Even if you see people outside, do not leave until told to do so.
You can recognize the approximate location of an Enbridge pipeline by identifying the pipeline markers. Markers should never be used as a reference for the exact location of a pipeline.
All pipeline markers provide the name of the pipeline operator, product being transported and a telephone number for reporting pipeline emergencies.
The general location of transmission pipelines and contact information for the pipeline operators is available through the National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS) available at npms.phmsa.dot.gov). Gathering lines are not included in the NPMS. If you are located in Texas, you can view both gathering and transmission lines on the mapview provided by the Texas Railroad Commission. For information on gathering lines in other states that may be present in your area, contact us at USpublicawareness@enbridge.com or call 877-799-2650.
Do not rely on the National Pipeline Mapping System or pipeline markers when planning to dig. A call to 811, the national “Call Before You Dig” telephone number, is necessary to properly locate pipelines and other buried utilities before excavation.
Striking a pipeline could cause injuries, damage property, disrupt vital services to an entire area and lead to expensive fines and repair costs. There is always a risk of striking a pipeline or other utility, even if you think you know what might be present in the area. The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, such as erosion, previous digging projects and uneven surfaces.
Excavation activities include the following:
- Planting trees or shrubs, installing fence posts and building decks
- Constructing sidewalks, steps, roads or railways, parking lots, driveways, ditches, berms, overhead or underground utilities and other facilities
- Deep tilling, excavating, ditching, drilling, auguring, installing drain tile and stockpiling materials
- Stripping topsoil, soil ripping, land leveling, peat removal, clearing and grading
- Operating non-agricultural heavy vehicles or equipment on or across the right-of-way where no roadway exists
We recognize that in some cases agricultural activities may be exempt from one call notification requirements. However, calling 811 to have pipelines and other utilities located is an important step in protecting yourself, your family and your property.
First, make the call. Always call 811, the national “Call Before You Dig” phone number, 2-3 business days before the start of excavation.
When you call 811, the one call center will ask for information to help line locators find the proposed excavation site and properly mark it. You should have this information ready when you call. Depending on your location, this may include:
- The county or parish, and city, township or village where the work is planned
- Your work site’s street address, the road on which it is located and the nearest intersection
- Driving directions or GPS coordinates
- The type of work you will be doing
- Whether you have white-lined or pre-marked the excavation area
- A description of the area where underground utilities need to be marked
- The date and time when excavation will begin
Professional locators will be sent to the proposed excavation site within 2-3 business days to mark the approximate locations of pipelines and other underground utilities with spray paint, flags or both so you can safely work around them. This is a free service paid for by utility companies to protect you and those around you.
Underground utility lines to private wells, outbuildings and vanity structures, such as gas lamps, are not included in the 811 service. A private locator must be contacted to find and mark these lines.
Once the lines are marked, respect the marks and excavate carefully around them. Be sure to adhere to any instructions or policies Enbridge or other utility company representatives may share with you.