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Understanding The Right of Way

A right-of-way is a strip of land typically about 50 feet wide (depending on location) containing a pipeline or other utility. Many rights-of-way contain more than one underground pipeline or utility and can be wider depending on the number of infrastructure assets within. Rights-of-way exist in various locations, from river crossings to fields to urban areas. Pipeline rights-of-way are acquired from landowners, other utilities or government entities by obtaining an easement.

Above-ground pipeline markers are used along the permanent right-of-way for easy recognition of the presence of underground pipelines. The markers are typically located in a “line of sight” manner within the rights-of-way, along streets and at road and railroad crossings. The markers provide helpful information about who operates the pipeline and how to contact them. The marker does not necessarily mark the exact location of the pipeline; therefore, prior to any excavation activity, underground pipelines and utilities should always be located and marked by contacting the local one-call center—at 811—prior to digging.

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.

Information on the general location of transmission pipelines and contact information for pipeline operators is also available through the National Pipeline Mapping System.

You can get more information about right of way standards by contacting us.