We have a comprehensive Damage Prevention Program in place at Plains. The Program approaches public safety with the common goal to increase awareness and mitigate unsafe behavior in and around our pipelines.

Damaging underground utilities can have serious consequences such as:

  • Personal injury to you, Plains employees and others

  • Environmental consequences

  • Loss of essential services, creating a safety risk for yourself and others

  • Expensive restoration costs and potential legal or regulatory action

What is a Right-of-Way (ROW)?

A Right-of-Way (ROW) is the strip of land above buried infrastructure that provides space to perform operational activities like pipeline maintenance, inspections and in some cases, allows access for responding to emergencies.

Companies acquire the right to use the land for construction, operation, inspection and maintenance of their pipelines.

ROW’s identify an area where certain activities are prohibited in order to protect the public and the integrity of the pipeline. They are typically cleared of trees and most vegetation, as well as building and other structures, and are always clearly marked with warning signs.

Warning Signs & Markers

Federal and various state and provincial regulations require pipeline companies to place warning signs along the pipeline route.

The most visible locations are chosen for warning signs – along highways, at road, railway and water crossings and other prominent locations. Warning signs clearly and continuously mark the approximate location of underground assets.

It’s important to remember that these markers only show the estimated location of a pipeline, and they do not indicate the depth at which the asset is buried.

Click or Call Before You Dig

Whether you are planning a major construction project, or planting a garden, to ensure your safety you must Click or Call Before You Dig before you start to find out where buried networks are as they could pose a serious risk to the public, the environment and the infrastructure itself.

Placing a One-Call is easy, free and will guarantee your ground disturbance activities get off on the right foot. When you contact your local One-Call Center, project information is gathered to inform buried infrastructure owners of your activity. Within a few days, infrastructure owners will be out to locate and mark their underground assets.

Surveillance and Monitoring

Right-of-way (ROW) surveillance, monitoring and timely reporting is a significant component of the Plains Damage Prevention Program.

Damage Prevention’s Right-of-Way (ROW) Surveillance and Monitoring process supports the continued protection of buried infrastructure, safety and security of the public, employees, contractors and the environment through regularly scheduled aerial and ground patrols, followed by detailed and timely reporting.

We conduct ROW surveillance and monitoring activities, in conformance with state, provincial and federal regulations, to identify conditions and activities on and adjacent to the ROW, that could potentially affect the safe operation of the asset or could compromise the safety of those working or living nearby. In particular, conditions such as construction or non-standard agricultural activity, erosion, seismic activity, loss of cover, ground movement, evidence of leaks, land use changes, and unauthorized activities are identified and addressed, as required, through ROW surveillance and monitoring.

Patrol type and frequency are determined by these factors:

  • Regulatory requirements
  • Pipeline diameter
  • Operating pressure
  • Service fluid
  • Crossings (water, railway, road, major utilities or other pipelines)
  • Population density
  • Terrain
  • Land use
  • ROW surveillance and monitoring reflects our commitment to conducting operations in safe, secure and responsible manner.

Crossings and Encroachments for Our Canadian Assets

Activities that occur near pipelines that traverse throughout Canada without appropriate notification or consent, such as facility construction or ground disturbance, can cause damage to pipelines and pose a risk to public safety.

Third parties, including landowners, contractors, utility companies or municipalities that are planning to conduct a ground disturbance activity near a Plains pipeline located in Canada must contact Plains and obtain written consent. The impacts of the proposed activity need to be assessed by Plains to ensure that the activity will not pose a risk of damage to the pipeline. The consent must be provided in a written form, and must contain the conditions necessary to protect the pipe from damage when conducting the proposed activity.

Click here for more information about Crossings and Encroachments for our Canadian Assets.