To ensure our high pressure, transmission pipelines remain safe and leak-free, we must be able to inspect, make repairs, and maintain the right-of-way. That’s why wherever Atmos Energy transmission pipelines are located; we have a “right-of-way”— a legal right of access to the property.
If our pipeline goes through a portion of a county park where we have a right-of-way, the county gives us easy access to that part of the park. If our pipeline runs across grazing land, the rancher ensures his or her fences and cattle don’t block our way. Golf courses, ski resorts, farmers, and other types of owners are all bound to keep a right-of-way clear.
Utility companies aren’t alone in having rights-of-way. Sometimes a homeowner shares a driveway with a next-door neighbor who has a right-of-way to use it too. A retail business might have a right-of-way across another retailer’s parking lot. Rights-of-way are everywhere.
Atmos Energy will, from time to time, need to clear plants from a right-of-way or remove other items that block easy access to natural gas pipelines. In such cases, we always strive to work with the landowner to keep the impacts of our work low.
Sometimes we have to remove large trees to keep an area clear. Although beautiful and beneficial in so many ways, trees can slow down emergency crews on the ground. Tree roots can wrap around our pipeline, and grown trees can also block our view of pipelines from the air.
Whether the problem is a tree, a storage shed, a fence, or something else, any item that hinders a right-of-way is an “encroachment.” Encroachments not only make pipeline areas less safe but are against the law.
Pipeline right-of-way must remain clear so that Atmos Energy can access and inspect our pipelines for routine or emergency maintenance, maintain unobstructed views of the right-of-way for aerial patrol and surveying, and prevent tree root and other damage to pipeline coating.
Atmos Energy is engaged in regulated utility operations. Atmos Energy Corporation. All Rights Reserved.