Land-Use Guide for Development Near Transmission Pipeline ROWs

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What is Acceptable Land Use Near Pipelines?

Associations representing the pipeline industry, developers, local governments, regulators and other community stakeholders have been meeting for nearly two years to formulate standards for land developments near pipeline right-of-ways (ROWs).  The Pipeline and Informed Planning Alliance (PIPA) was established to develop guidance on pipeline safety and land-use planning.  The collaborative effort targets developments proposed near transmission pipelines.

A draft of the guidance document is now under review by more than 20 stakeholder groups.  Two topics to be addressed by the PIPA document are: the proper uses of pipeline ROWs and what information regarding the proper use of ROWs should be conveyed to key stakeholders.

Pipeline ROWs are required to be clear of encroachments to ensure that outside factors, like trees, buildings, or certain activities do not impact the integrity of a pipeline.  There are land uses that can occur harmoniously with pipeline infrastructure when plans are reviewed and proper permission is secured.  Some examples of this include agricultural activities, airports, highways and parks.  Uses that are strictly prohibited include the placement of dumps, junkyards or rifle ranges.

Through the PIPA effort, pipeline operators have also developed recommendations for when communication regarding land-use planning is necessary.  The PIPA communications committee has developed a seven-step process to facilitate the distribution of information to appropriate stakeholders, including land developers, city planners and elected officials.

The PIPA committee is expected to complete the final review of the guidance document by late 2009.  If approved, a plan will be established to distribute the recommendations in the report to impacted stakeholders.

Acceptable Activities,

with Consent of Pipeline Company:


Prohibited Activities:
  • Canals
  • Culverts
  • Driveways
  • Erosion & Flood Control
  • Fences
  • Highways & Roads
  • Retaining Walls
  • Recreational Areas
    • Golf Courses
    • Hiking Trails
    • Horseback Riding Trails
    • Parks
  • Buildings & Structures
  • Campsites
  • Catch Basins
  • Cemeteries
  • Concrete Slabs
  • Dams
  • Dumps
  • Junkyards
  • Mobile Home Parks
  • Orchards or Tree Farms
  • Quarries
  • Rifle Ranges
  • Service Stations
  • Swimming Pools

More information: