Neighbor’s Guide

Living Near the Pipeline

Today, the right-of-way holds three pipelines: one 18-inch and one 24-inch line that transport oil for use at Montreal and Ontario refineries and a third 12-inch line that was cleaned and displaced by nitrogen and retired in 1984. These three pipelines, which are about three feet beneath the ground surface, pass through approximately 236 miles (380 km) of countryside in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and the Province of Quebec. It should be noted that in certain sections of New Hampshire and Maine, a natural gas pipeline is operated by Portland Natural Gas Transmission System (PNGTS) and is not part of the Portland-Montreal Pipe Line system.

We frequently inspect the line from the air and sometimes on foot. We maintain and update our equipment and do all we can to keep the line secure and the environment safe. Living and working near the pipeline right-of-way should not change your daily routine in any way.  We encourage you to help us keep the right-of-way safe by keeping an eye out and calling us anytime you have a question or a concern.  You can reach us toll free at 1-866-253-7351 or collect at 207-767-3231 in the US or toll free at 1-888-977-4589 or collect at 514-645-4589 in Canada.

Please read the attached electronic brochure for important information on living next to the pipeline and helping keep our environment and property safe.

Construction Near the Right-of-Way

PMPL considers itself part of each community it passes through. Many of those communities along the right-of-way are much larger and more populated than they were in 1941 when the first line was built. More people and more homes mean more construction. Unfortunately, damage caused during construction is one of the most frequent causes of pipeline accidents in the United States and Canada. Fortunately, you and your neighbors can help remedy this by taking a few simple steps before beginning construction. The Pipe Line wants to keep the environment we share safe, and we need your help.

If you are planning to excavate or build a structure, road, driveway or any kind of crossing on or near the right-of-way – or if you notice anyone else who is – please do the following:

  • Call us first toll free at 1-866-253-7351 or collect at 207-767-3231 in the US or toll free at 1-888-977-4589 or collect at 514-645-4589 in Canada.
    • Within 72 hours, a representative from the Pipe Line will visit the site and mark the exact location of the line. (We do this at no charge to you)
  • Have your contractor call Dig Safe (In the US) at 811 or Info Excavation in Canada at 1-800-663-9228 (514-286-9228 in Montreal)
    • Don’t rely on your pipeline markers to tell you where the line is. In some cases they will only give the approximate location or depth of the line.
  • Call us if you see someone else involved in using explosives, digging or building on or near the right-of-way.
    • It’s best to be safe. Explosives are very dangerous when used near an oil pipeline, and construction equipment can easily interfere with the pipeline. Even a minor cut or scrape made by machinery can weaken the line.
  • If you see a dent or scrape on the pipeline, call us immediately.
    • We will send someone to inspect the damage. Do not cover up the exposed pipe; that will make it difficult for our maintenance crew to locate the damaged pipe.
  • If you cause a rupture in the line, evacuate the area immediately. Then call us.
    • The sooner you do, the faster we can notify authorities and get trained personnel on site to make repairs and assess the damage.

Contacting Portland-Montreal Pipe Line prior to doing any construction near the pipelines will help protect you, the landowner, from unintentionally causing a serious accident while protecting the pipelines.

Please read the attached electronic brochure for additional information regarding construction practices and the design of projects near Portland-Montreal Pipe Line’s Right-of-Way.