Picture this – how land is reclaimed after a pipeline is built

In our ‘Picture this’ series we’re answering some of your most common questions and busting a few pipeline myths in the process. So far, we’ve answered questions about emergency preparedness, welds and spill cleanup. This week we’re looking at what happens to the land after a pipeline has been installed and construction crews have moved out.

Do pipeline companies leave a trail of destruction when they build a pipeline?

Laying a pipeline is a huge project, and there’s no doubt that a great deal of land is disturbed in the process. But did you know that pipeline companies fully reclaim the land as soon as they are done?

Repair and reclaim

Here are three things you should know about what happens to the land after a pipeline is built:

  • Pipeline companies fully reclaim the land after a pipeline construction project, and monitor their reclamation efforts to ensure they are successful.
  • A pipeline right-of-way is a strip of land up to 40 metres wide. It’s distinctive, because activity is very limited in that strip, but is returned to its natural state with native plants.
  • Pipeline companies even take a proactive role in protecting the land around their construction activities, for instance in the case of the fight against club root.


To learn more about the way pipeline companies repair and remediate the land after construction or maintenance projects, check out these posts:

To find more answers to Canadians’ common pipeline questions, check out the other posts in our ‘Picture this’ series. And if you have a question of your own, be sure to leave it in the comment section, or post it on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, so that we can try to answer it in a future post.

The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association represents Canada’s transmission pipeline companies who operate approximately 119,000 kilometres of pipelines in Canada. In 2015, these energy highways moved approximately 1.2 billion barrels of liquid petroleum products and 5.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Our members transport 97 per cent of Canada’s daily natural gas and onshore crude oil from producing regions to markets throughout North America.