Why is a Clear Right of Way Important?

Keeping pipeline rights of way clear of structures, trees and other obstructions is necessary for public safety and reliable energy delivery. A clear right of way is an important indicator of underground facilities to third parties who may be performing nearby construction. Direct and immediate access to a pipeline enables Columbia Pipeline Group (CPG) to conduct testing to monitor the pipeline’s integrity and to perform general maintenance and repairs. In the event of an emergency, a clear right of way is necessary for adequate response from both CPG personnel and emergency response officials. A clear right of way enables safer and more effective patrols and inspections.

As part of our overall safety program, CPG works to keep its rights of way clear. When necessary, we may clear trees, shrubs and other obstructions that may interfere with the inspection, maintenance and operation of our pipelines. Structures like sheds, swimming pools and anchored playground equipment are also prohibited from rights of way.

Learn about our other right of way maintenance activities:

Planting Along a Pipeline Right of Way

Trees are not permitted on the right of way. Trees outside of but near the right of way should be planted with enough room to grow to maturity without canopy growth into the right of way. Small shrubs, five feet or less in height at maturity and located no closer than five feet from the pipeline, are permitted in the right of way. Call your State One-Call notification service, or dial 811, before planning landscaping activities on or near a right of way. Once notified through One-Call, CPG will mark the location of the pipeline and right of way and explain our construction guidelines free of charge.

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Pipeline Patrols

CPG conducts both aerial and ground patrols of its pipelines. Aerial surveillance may identify signs of a leak or damage. Aerial patrols may also spot activities occurring near a pipeline that may threaten its safety or integrity. Ground patrols are conducted also to look for signs of a leak or damage and to ensure the absence of extensive landscaping or other obstructions on the pipeline right of way.

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Controlled Release

Controlled releases of natural gas from a pipeline system are occasionally performed prior to beginning maintenance or construction. The release may create a loud roaring sound and lingering gas odor in the surrounding area. Since these activities are conducted under carefully controlled circumstances, they pose no danger to local citizens or the environment.

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Mowing and Spraying Along the Right of Way

Mowing and/or herbicide spraying along a pipeline right of way helps control growth and prevent obstructions from growing that may interfere with the inspection, maintenance and operation of the pipeline.

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