Natural Gas Pipeline Rights-of-way

PG&E's top priority is the safety of the public and our employees. Our comprehensive testing and inspection programs ensure that our natural gas transmission pipeline system operates safely and reliably. We regularly conduct inspections, leak surveys, and patrols of all of our natural gas transmission pipelines.

Our pipelines deliver natural gas to customers across the region. Pipeline rights-of-way are strips of land of various widths in which pipelines are installed, either above or beneath the ground. You can use our Gas Transmission Pipeline Map to see pipelines near you.

A Shared Responsibility

When it comes to pipeline safety, pipeline rights-of-way are a shared responsibility between PG&E and the property owner. Rights-of-way must be kept clear. PG&E must be able to access our facilities within the right of way so we can perform regular maintenance, testing, and monitoring in order to safely operate the pipeline and provide customers with reliable service.

Learn more about a pipeline right-of-way on your property

Most people do not have a pipeline right-of-way on their property. You can use our Gas Transmission Pipeline Map to see transmission pipelines near you.

If you do have a pipeline right-of-way on your property, or if you are not sure, the title report for your property will typically identify any easements on your land. This includes PG&E easements for pipeline right-of-way. You can usually obtain a copy of the pipeline easement by contacting your county recorder’s office. PG&E can also provide a copy of the easement from our records upon request; please contact the Gas System Help Line for more information.

What is an easement?

Pipeline rights-of-way on private property are documented in a written easement. An easement is the limited right to make use of property owned by another. In this example, the easement may grant the right to install and maintain a pipeline across the other person’s property. The rights and restrictions are usually defined in the easement document. The easement is usually recorded to provide notice of the rights and restrictions that apply to the property, even when it transferred or sold.

Contact PG&E first

If your property has a pipeline right-of-way, please contact us before you build any structure or improvement on or near the easement. We will come out to mark the location of the pipeline and explain any construction requirements that will help maintain the safety and integrity of the pipeline. You can start the process by contacting the Gas System Help Line at 1-888-743-7431.

Whether or not you have a pipeline right-of-way on your property, if you are planning on digging or excavating, please call 811 before you dig. This will connect you to Underground Service Alert (USA), a free service for homeowners, excavators and professional contractors who are planning a project that may impact underground utilities. The service will notify relevant underground utility operators (such as water, cable, and gas) so they we can identify whether there are any underground utilities within the proposed area of excavation. PG&E will then mark our underground facilities to help you plan a safe project.

Prohibited uses of rights-of-way

To keep pipelines accessible, the following are prohibited within the right-of-way boundaries (Note: this list is a guide and not all-inclusive):

  • buildings, structures or foundations, overhanging roofs and balconies, garden sheds, signs
  • wells, swimming pools or other boreholes
  • storage of flammable materials, heavy equipment and bulk goods
  • burning of materials such as waste, scrap lumber and slash
  • pile-driving or blasting

Generally permissible uses of rights-of-way

The following uses are typically permitted within right-of-way boundaries:
  • some patios or concrete slabs (subject to limits)
  • flower beds, vegetable gardens, lawns, low shrubbery, certain crops
  • livestock grazing
  • some sports and game fields, parks, golf courses (subject to limits)

Frequently Asked Questions

Pipeline rights-of-way are strips of land of various widths in which pipelines are installed, either above or beneath the ground.

Pipeline rights-of-way on private property are documented in a written easement. An easement is the limited right to make use of property owned by another. In this example, the easement may grant the right to install and maintain a pipeline across the other person’s property. The rights and restrictions are usually defined in the easement document. The easement is usually recorded to provide notice of the rights and restrictions that apply to the property, even when it transferred or sold.

Yes. Pipeline rights-of-way must be kept clear to allow PG&E to inspect, maintain, and operate its facilities.

Encroachment is a term to describe an incompatible or restricted use within the right-of-way. Encroachments can include buildings and structures such as uninhabitable storage sheds, habitable room additions, pools, converted garages and other similar structures. In addition, PG&E may need to address vegetation such as large trees that may impact the pipeline within the right-of-way.

This must be determined on a case-by-case basis. However, encroachments are incompatible with PG&E’s use of the right-of-way and interfere with PG&E’s ability to perform regular maintenance, testing, and monitoring in order to safely operate the pipeline and provide customers with reliable service.

Please contact the Gas System Help Line at 1-888-743-7431 immediately. PG&E is committed to working with property owners to resolve encroachment issues. Our local representatives work directly with property owners on a case-by-case basis and can offer a variety of treatment options and tools.

Yes. PG&E regularly conducts leak surveys and patrols of our gas transmission pipelines, either with a flyover in a plane or helicopter, or a ground patrol on foot. One of the things we look for is evidence of construction activity near the pipeline that may impede access to our facilities and/or interfere with regular maintenance and operations. If we believe there is an encroachment, we will contact the property owner and work with them to resolve the issue. We can offer property owners a variety of treatment options and tools.

Typically, your title report will identify any pipeline easement that pertains to the property. You can obtain a copy of the easement by contacting your county recorder’s office. PG&E can also provide a copy of the easement from our records upon request.

Please contact the Gas System Help Line at 1-888-743-7431 for more information.
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