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Right of way

What is a right of way?

A right of way is a defined corridor on a landowner’s property containing one or more high pressure natural gas pipelines. A statutory right of way agreement is a formal agreement between the landowner and FortisBC that is registered on the title of the property. The agreement:

  • allows us to access the right of way
  • restricts uses and/or activities that would compromise access, maintenance, inspection and operation of the pipeline
  • restricts uses and/or activities that have the potential to cause safety concerns

As an operator of natural gas pipeline systems, various regulations and standards require us to perform regular inspections, integrity assessment and maintenance. These activities require the pipeline right of way be kept clear of major vegetation, structures and other encroachments that might interfere with safe operation of and access to the pipeline.

A pipeline and/or right of way works permit is required before any activity or ground disturbance occurs within a FortisBC right of way. Call BC One Call first at 1-800-474-6886 or *6886 on the Telus or Rogers mobile network to determine if you require FortisBC permission for your project.

More about rights of way

 

 Safety

 

​Safety is our first priority. As required by regulation and standards, to ensure public safety and protect the reliability of the pipeline system, we conduct the following integrity maintenance programs:

  • aerial, ground and marine inspections of the rights of way
  • leak surveys along the high pressure natural gas pipeline system
  • installation of highly visible natural gas pipeline markers
  • regular checks of our corrosion protection system
  • complete internal natural gas pipeline inspections using sophisticated inspection equipment
  • ongoing vegetation management along our rights of way

Please let us know if you see any suspicious or unusual activity on a FortisBC right of way, so we can take the appropriate actions.

 

 ROW owner

 

​The majority of our natural gas pipelines are built within a right of way across land that is owned by others. Individual property owners retain ownership of the land, and the statutory right of way agreement allows us to use the land for our natural gas pipeline operations. If the property is sold, the rights and obligations of this legally binding agreement are automatically transferred to the new owner.

If you’re not sure about a right of way on your property or for a copy of your agreement, check with your local Land Titles Office or our Property Services Department.

 

 Encroachment

 

​An encroachment is a prohibited use of, or activity within, the natural gas pipeline right of way. As required by regulations, we have a program to keep rights of way free and clear of structures, buildings, objects, vegetation or activities.

We work closely with landowners, tenants, contractors, all levels of government and others to address the removal of encroachments. Our goal is to enable landowners to use and enjoy their properties without compromising the safe operation and maintenance of the natural gas pipeline system.

 

 ROW & marine crossing

 

​Please avoid bottom-fishing along the Vancouver Island high pressure natural gas pipeline marine rights of way. Your fishing gear could easily become entangled in these attachments or in the pipelines, resulting in damage or loss of your equipment. Prior to any fishing activity on the Georgia or Malaspina Straits, we urge you to confirm the location of the right of way on Marine Charts 3512 and 3513.

If you have any questions about the marine crossing, please call 250-751-8341 (Vancouver Island).

 

 Additional resources

 

Learn more about staying safe around a natural gas pipeline right of way.