Pipeline and right of way permits
If you’re working near a FortisBC pipeline or planning certain activities within a FortisBC right of way, BC laws, regulations and land interests require you to get written permission from FortisBC first and to follow safety guidelines when working near our high-pressure pipelines.
What is a right of way?
A right of way is a defined corridor that contains one or more high-pressure natural gas pipelines and passes through private property, Crown lands and Indigenous lands. A statutory right of way agreement between the landowner and FortisBC is registered on the title of the property, which allows us to access the right of way and restrict uses or activities that could compromise our ability to access, maintain, inspect or operate the pipeline to the safety standards and regulations we’re required to follow.
If you have questions about a right of way or need a copy of the agreement for your property, check with your local Land Title Office or email us at [email protected].
Do you need a pipeline or right of way permit?
The BC Oil and Gas Activities Act requires you to contact FortisBC for activities within 30 metres of a pipeline. You must apply for a permit if you’re working:
- within 10 metres of a transmission pressure (TP) pipeline
- within two metres of an intermediate pressure (IP) pipeline or
- within a FortisBC right of way
- increasing or decreasing ground elevation
- road and driveway crossings and/or movement of vehicles and equipment across, on or along the right of way (temporary or permanent)
- logging roads (temporary or permanent) and/or logging activities
- underground and overhead utilities
- ditches, drains, sanitary and storm sewers, irrigation lines, water lines and dikes
- test holes
- fences and posts (subject to individual review)
- commercial tree farming
- parking lots
- commercial or recreational vehicle parking
- sports fields or golf courses (subject to limits on re-grading landscaping, irrigation lines or paving)
- trails (subject to individual review)
- blasting in the vicinity of a transmission natural gas pipeline
- preloading adjacent to a right of way
- stockpiling material adjacent to a right of way
- livestock grazing
We restrict activities or objects that could potentially cause safety concerns on a right of way, such as major vegetation, structures and other encroachments that might interfere with safe operation of and access to the pipeline, including:
- buildings, structures or foundations (including garden sheds, patios, decks, retaining walls, concrete slabs, playhouses, swimming pools or satellite dishes)
- overhanging roofs and balconies
- vehicles, trailers and RVs
- parallel or tapering encroachment by roads or other utilities
- dumping, stockpiling material or preloading of any kind
- planting trees
- falling trees
- burning of materials (waste, scrap lumber and slash)
- digging wells and pits
- pile-driving, poles for power lines and street lighting
- augering or other boreholes
- erecting signs
- storage of equipment, building goods, vehicles or flammable materials
- commercial garbage disposal containers (e.g. dumpsters)
- septic fields and tanks
Safety resources to download, print and share
- Excavation safety around natural gas brochure
- Excavation safety is your responsibility info sheet
We’re here to help
If you have questions about what’s permitted in a right of way or how to apply for a permit, email the FortisBC permit desk at [email protected] or call 604-576-7021 or 1-877-599-0996.