How do I find out about pipelines in my community?

There are 119,000 km of underground transmission pipelines operated by CEPA members in Canada, passing through many different areas. Whether the pipeline passes near urban communities or through farms and ranches, pipeline operators take every precaution to ensure the safety of Canadians and the surrounding environment.

The right-of-way is clearly marked with identification signs.

Signs clearly identify the presence of a pipeline.

Knowing the pipeline right-of-way

Transmission pipelines are buried within a strip of land called a pipeline right-of-way, which can be up to 40 meters wide. They have a limited number of trees, vegetation, buildings and other structures to allow easy access to the pipeline for monitoring and maintenance.

Identifying pipelines clearly with signage

Federal and provincial regulations require pipeline companies to place identification signs or markers along their pipeline route. These noticeable, colourful signs are located along highways, at road, railway and water crossings and other prominent locations, to clearly mark the presence of a pipeline. Although these signs identify that a pipeline is in the area, they do not give the exact location or depth of the pipeline.

You Asked

“Say you have a breach in a length of pipeline somewhere in the heart of the Rockies, and for argument’s sake, let’s say the breach is in the most remote area of the pipeline route. How long until the breach is detected, how long until the oil flow is stopped due to a pressure drop and the activation of the safety valves, and how long until it can be repaired?” – Alex O. (Burnaby, B.C.)
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