Plains owns and operates an extensive network of pipelines in both Canada and the United States.

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.

Activities Near Our Canadian Pipelines Requiring Written Agreements Include:

To ensure the safety of the public and the integrity of the pipelines, the following activities require a written agreement from Plains:

  • Facility construction or ground disturbance across, on, along or under the pipeline Right-of-Way (ROW)

  • Ground Disturbance within 30 meters of the centerline of pipeline

  • Operation of a vehicle or mobile equipment across the pipeline or within the ROW; outside the travelled portion of a highway or public road, excluding agricultural vehicles

A person planning to operate a vehicle or mobile equipment across a pipeline, which includes the ROW, must contact Plains to obtain written consent. The movement of vehicles and mobile equipment over a pipeline increases the stresses on the pipeline and, in some cases, may result in damage to the pipeline. The actual stress changes can only be assessed through engineering calculations.

A thorough assessment of pipeline safety requires detailed knowledge about ground conditions, design factors and operating characteristics. Depending on ground conditions, even vehicles such as all-terrain vehicles (ATV) or pick-up trucks have the potential to cause damage to the pipeline.

Please contact or work with the pipeline operator if you are uncertain if your vehicle poses a risk to the pipeline.

In order to protect the pipeline from mining operations, no person shall work or prospect for mines or minerals laying under a pipeline or within 40 meters of the pipeline ROW without obtaining consent from the Canada Energy Regulator. This can include activities such as seismic exploration, blasting/use of explosives or quarrying, etc.

Note: Some activities that do not require written approval may still require a site visit by a Plains representative to locate and mark the pipeline(s). Always Call or Click Before You Dig prior to start of work.

Non-Routine Projects:

Plains defines "Non-Routine Projects" as any of the following criteria:

  • A request where parallel construction is planned within five meters of a Plains ROW for an area greater than 500 meters

  • Construction activity will exceed 90 days

  • Where the same type of activity is being requested in more than five geographical locations

  • Activity that requires the potential re-location of the Plains pipeline

  • Activities such as mining, quarrying, etc.

Plains will work closely with those who are planning a non-routine project to mitigate potential risks and hazards in order to expedite consent and avoid conflicts. Collaboration prior to the commencement of the project ensures the requestor has the information required to work safely.

*If your project does not meet the above criteria it is considered to be a routine project. Please follow the crossing requests application process noted below.

Agricultural Activity Not Requiring an Agreement:

The operation of an agricultural vehicle or mobile equipment across the pipeline does not require a written agreement if the following conditions are met:

  1. The loaded axle weight and tire pressures of the vehicle or mobile equipment are within the manufacturer’s approved limited and operating guidelines; and

  2. The point of crossing has not been the subject of a notification from the pipeline company that crossing at that location could impair the pipeline’s safety or security.

This applies to vehicles or mobile equipment used for agricultural activities in the production of crops and the raising of animals and includes pasturing and cultivation activities such as tillage, plowing, disking and harrowing.

If you are unsure whether the proposed agricultural activity meets the above conditions, or whether the proposed agricultural activity could jeopardize the safe and secure operation of the pipeline, please contact before proceeding with the activity.

Application Requirements:

All applications for written agreements must be submitted to

The application must include:

  • A request letter which includes the scope of work, proposed activity date and legal land location;

  • A completed Plains Crossing Application Form (not required for encroachment or proximity requests); and

  • Survey plan and/or design drawings (including plan view and profile or elevation view drawings) that shows the proposed activity in relation to the PMC asset.

For all applications please note:

  • The crossing angle of proposed new facilities crossing the pipeline and/or ROW must be as close to 90° as possible

  • No pre-load or surcharge will be allowed within the pipeline ROW. Pre-loading adjacent to a ROW is subject to review and approval by Plains

Application process:

The following process will be followed:

  1. The applicant prepares and submits the application documents to Plains via email.

  2. The application information is reviewed, assessed, and conditions for safe work are identified.*

  3. A Plains Damage Prevention representative will process the application and send the applicable Agreement to the applicant for signature.

  4. The applicant signs the Agreement and returns to Plains for execution.

  5. A fully executed Agreement is sent to the applicant.

  6. The applicant notifies Plains a minimum of three working days prior to the start of work by calling the provincial one-call system or visiting

  7. The Plains inspector arranges a site meeting, locates the pipeline, and inspects the construction or ground disturbance activities.

  8. If required, the Plains inspector will issue a Locate and Stakeout Form and a Ground Disturbance Form (if applicable).

*No activity having the potential to damage a pipeline shall proceed until such time as the continued safe operation of the pipeline can be assured by PMC.

Unauthorized Activities

Unauthorized activities are any activities that occur over or near a Plains asset that can potentially jeopardize the safety of the pipeline system. Examples of these activities include but are not limited to: unauthorized ground disturbance, installation of structures or projects within the ROW, unauthorized vehicle crossings, alteration of existing surface of ground over pipelines etc.

Plains has a reporting culture and follows all applicable regulations related to the reporting of unauthorized activities. Plains believes that there are opportunities to learn from mistakes and also to correct behaviors relating to unintentional activities. In order to protect the public, our employees, the environment and our assets we track and report on stakeholders who conduct unsafe practices on or near our ROWs.