|Pipeline Safety > Rights-of-way
Transmission pipeline rights-of-way are strips of land up to 60 feet wide where natural gas pipelines are buried. The pipelines can be as large as 24 inches in diameter and may transport natural gas at very high pressures. Distinctive markers are used to identify buried pipeline locations within rights-of-way.
Transmission and distribution pipeline rights-of-way on private property are legal agreements that are granted to New Mexico Gas Company in perpetuity by present or former landowners. A change in land ownership does not alter the agreement. The agreement specifies what may be done within the rights-of-way boundaries, and it protects the interests of both New Mexico Gas Company and the property owner. If you do not have a copy of the agreement for the rights-of-way within your property, you can get a copy from the appropriate county clerk's office.
The uses of both transmission and distribution rights-of-way are regulated in order to:
New Mexico Gas Company gas transmission pipeline, facility and gas distribution rights-of-way must be kept free from structures and other obstructions in order to allow access to the facility for maintenance, as well as in the event of an emergency. We perform frequent inspections to minimize the risk of hazardous actions by others.
- ensure the safety of the public and security of the natural gas supply
- ensure that rights-of-way and pipelines are clearly defined
- prevent hindrance to routine inspections and maintenance
- enable crews to undertake emergency repairs quickly to reduce exposure of the public to a potential hazard
- ensure a possible location for a future pipeline
If a gas transmission pipeline crosses your property, do not:
- plant trees or tall shrubs on the right-of-way
- dig, build, store, or place anything on or near the right-of-way without first having New Mexico Gas Company mark the location of the pipeline and explain the company’s construction guidelines for you
- install fence posts any closer than 10 feet horizontally from any pipeline
Generally acceptable uses of New Mexico Gas Company transmission and distribution rights-of-way include:
If you plan to use New Mexico Gas Company natural gas transmission pipeline rights-of-way for any purpose other than those permitted items above, please call New Mexico Gas Company Engineering Department at (505) 697-3518 before beginning your project.
- raising certain crops
- flower beds, vegetable gardens, lawns, low shrubbery
- livestock grazing
- sports and game fields, parks, golf courses (subject to limits on re-grading, landscaping, or paving (transmission only), and on installation of structures such as exercise equipment, goal posts and backstops)
Uses of both transmission and distribution rights-of-way that are not allowed include the following: (This list is a guide. It is not intended to be all-inclusive)
- buildings, structures or foundations, overhanging roofs and balconies, garden sheds, patios, concrete slabs, signs, swimming pools
- wells or other boreholes
- storage of flammable materials, equipment, bulk goods and vehicles
- parallel or tapering encroachment by roads or other utilities
- burning of such materials as waste, scrap lumber and slash
Transmission rights-of-way activities that require written permission include:
If you plan to use New Mexico Gas Company natural gas pipeline rights-of-way for any purpose such as, but not limited to, the items above, please call New Mexico Gas Company Engineering at (505) 697-3518 before beginning your project.
- any activity requiring excavation
- all crossings of the right-of-way, such as underground utilities, roads and driveways, and drainage ditches
- paving or parking on a long-term basis
- installation of posts or fences
- changes to depth of soil over the pipeline
- land development
- logging operations
- operating heavy equipment on the right-of-way