Landowners & Developers

building trust

Strong, long-term relationships are essential to us when it comes to design, construction, operation and maintenance of our pipeline facilities. It’s our goal to maintain open communication with our neighbors, working in a fair and responsive manner. We take great pride in the trust we’ve developed with the many landowners and communities we work with across the nation. Whether you’re a landowner, developer or another member of the community, we work hard to perform our job with the least possible impact to you and the environment.

To protect the integrity of the pipelines near you, always contact us when planning any type of construction project, digging or planting on or near a pipeline right of way. Our land representatives also are available to assist with any questions. You can also find more information in our Developers Handbook.

OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU

As natural gas demand grows, we must periodically expand existing facilities or build new assets. From replacing or installing new pipe or compressor facilities, to building new pipeline systems, our goal is to protect the environment. Input from landowners, developers and regulatory agencies is critical to our planning process. We regularly work with our landowners through email, phone calls, open houses and in-person meetings. Focus on early communication enables us to explain projects, obtain permission to survey land and conduct formal negotiations. We encourage you to ask questions, voice concerns and communicate your preferences.

call before you dig

  • Call 811 before beginning any excavation project no matter how big or small the project is.
  • If Williams operates a pipeline in the vicinity, we will be notified and will locate and mark our pipeline with temporary flags or spray paint before you dig.
  • Respect the marks (either temporary flags or spray paint)
  • Dig with care

By law, people performing excavation or construction activities are required to call 811, 48 to 72 hours before beginning work (varies by state).

Damage from excavation-related activities is one of the leading causes of pipeline incidents, so always call 811 before you dig. This includes starting home projects such as installing a fence, widening a driveway or planting a tree.

If you experience a Williams pipeline emergency, go to a safe location and call 911 or your local emergency response telephone number and the pipeline’s emergency phone number. Call collect, if necessary, and give your name, phone number and a description of the leak and its location.

Call us immediately if you strike one of our pipelines or see someone working near them. Even minor dents, chips or scrapes are serious and can cause future leaks if the problem is not professionally repaired.

locating a pipeline

For safety reasons, most of our pipelines are buried. To identify them, look for the line markers like those shown below. We install markers at roads, rail and river crossings and other places along the right of way. Markers show the line’s approximate location and they also provide emergency contact information.

Markers do not provide information on the depth or number of pipelines in the vicinity and do not indicate the exact position of the pipeline. Pipelines may not follow a straight path between markers. Pipeline markers are generally yellow, black and red in color. Look for these signs:

  • Painted metal or plastic posts
  • Signs located near roads, railroads and along pipeline right-of-ways
  • Pipeline casing vent
  • Marker for pipeline patrol airplane

In addition to looking for markers, the public can search for pipelines in their community by referencing the National Pipeline Mapping System. The National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS) is an online mapping system created to educate the public about pipelines in their community. Enter your state and county and NPMS will provide a list of pipelines, their location, general commodities transported and operator contact information.

Please note: this site does not currently map gas gathering or distribution pipelines.

expansion projects

Our nationwide operations connect natural gas resources to those who need affordable, reliable heat and fuel. Find out if there is an expansion project in your area.


faqs

The Landowner FAQs is for information purposes only and is intended to address commonly asked questions but doesn’t address all potential landowner questions and concerns. A Williams representative will contact landowners that may be impacted by a pipeline project about the need for acquisition of easement rights and the formalization of such acquisition in a definitive easement agreement. These Landowner FAQs do not create a binding or enforceable contract and may not be relied upon by a party as the basis for a contract.

construction

What is an easement or right-of-way (ROW)?

Easement: The interests in land owned by a person other than the person that has title to the fee simple interest in the land, consisting of the right to use or control the land or an area above or below it, for a specific limited purpose (such as the right to install, maintain and operate a pipeline or related facilities).

Right-of-way: Is a person’s legal right, established by usage or by contract, to pass through grounds or property owned by another. This right is incidental to or a part of the easement interests that will be conveyed to Williams and may be referred to as the access or road easement, easement area or right-of-way.

How much land will be included in the easement area?

The amount of land required for a pipeline easement will vary depending on various factors of the project and the land. Some of these factors may include size of pipeline or related facility, route, topography, soil conditions and regulatory requirements. Williams’ Land Representative will discuss the land requirements with the landowner during the easement agreement negotiations and the easement area along the pipeline and related facilities will be described in the easement agreement. Any temporary workspace reverts back to the landowner upon completion of the pipeline or related facility construction and easement area restoration.

Who do I call to locate the pipeline or facilities on my property?

Before starting any work, the law requires you to call your local ‘One-Call’ center to tell them when and where you plan to dig by dialing 811.

The One Call center will notify the appropriate local company personnel who are responsible for locating the facilities within their area. No surface-disturbing activities should take place on the easement area prior to company personnel locating the facilities.

How wide is the existing Williams easement on my property?

The easement agreement applicable to that pipeline should describe the width of an existing easement. A survey of your property may also indicate the easement width, although some surveys may not include that level of detail. If none of this information is available, contact Williams at 1-800-Williams or here.

Encroachment

What is an encroachment?

An encroachment is an infringement of another’s rights or intrusion on another’s property. For the purposes of a pipeline easement, an encroachment typically is an action or the placement of something within an easement area that may adversely affect or interfere with (encroach on) Williams’ rights under the easement agreement. While most uses of the surface of the land will be allowed (including farming activities such as crop production or raising livestock), the placement of trees, buildings, structures, sheds, fences, decks, patios, swimming pools, roads, driveways, utilities, sprinkler systems, power or telephone poles are not allowed on Williams’ easements without Williams’ consent. As is the case with any surface disturbance, please contact your local One Call (811) and Williams (855-245-2300).

environmental

How do you protect wildlife?

Williams strives to minimize impacts to landowners and the environment. Williams sites pipeline corridors within or adjacent to existing utility corridors, when practical, to minimize environmental disturbances. During the analysis of potential pipeline routes, extra attention is given to identifying sensitive areas of ecological or historic significance. Field scientists, archaeologists and biologists conduct detailed environmental surveys and evaluations of potential study corridors searching for threatened or endangered species, sensitive wildlife and vegetation habitats, wetlands and water bodies and areas of archaeological significance.

general

What are you transporting?

Williams’ core business is the gathering and transportation of natural gas and natural gas liquids. Contact your Williams Land Representative to discuss products specific to your property.

What is a compressor station?

Compressor stations are the “engines” that power natural gas pipelines. As the name implies, the compressor station compresses the natural gas (increasing its pressure) in order to keep it moving through the pipeline. Pipeline companies install compressor stations at various points along their pipelines, typically one every 40 to 100 miles. The size and the number of compressors varies, based on the diameter of the pipe and the volume of gas to be moved.

If I sign an easement agreement will I still own my land?

An easement agreement does not transfer title of the land to Williams; it merely grants the interests in land that provide for the right to use the land for the specific purposes stated in the easement agreement.

Will the presence of the pipeline affect my property values?

No – generally natural gas pipeline easements have been shown to have no material effect on property values.

legal

What is the difference between eminent domain and condemnation?

Eminent domain is the power to utilize private property for public use by a government or its agent following the payment of just compensation to the owner of that property. Condemnation is the legal process by which that governmental body, its agent or other authorized entity exercises its right of eminent domain to acquire private property for public uses.

payment

How is the value of the easement determined?

Easement value is generally determined by the market value of land in the area as determined by independent sources such as local MAI appraisers, real estate brokers and other real estate professionals, considering such factors as length and width of the easement area, existing land use and comparable sales in the area.

pipeline

Will you ever need to dig up the pipeline?

Williams may occasionally need to access the pipeline to ensure that its operations remain safe and reliable; therefore, Williams must have unrestricted entry and access to all of its facilities at all times for regular maintenance, inspection, repair or during emergency situations.

What is cathodic protection?

Cathodic protection is a low-voltage electrical system that helps prevent pipeline corrosion.

restoration

How long will the restoration phase take?

Restoration typically takes several growing seasons to fully revegetate. Your designated Williams Operations personnel or Land Representative will work with you to ensure successful revegetation.

How will the easement area look after construction?

Williams is committed to restoring your property as close as reasonably possible to the condition it was in immediately prior to the construction activities, except you may notice pipeline markers and a lack of trees along the easement area.

Who will take care of unusual erosion or settling?

Contact your designated Williams Operations personnel or Land Representative to resolve any issues with unusual erosion or settling.

safety

Can I dig near or on the easement area?

No. Before starting any work, the law requires you to call your local ‘One-Call’ center to tell them when and where you plan to dig by dialing 811.

The One Call center will notify the appropriate local company personnel who are responsible for locating the facilities within their area. No surface-disturbing activities should take place on the easement area prior to company personnel locating the facilities.

Are natural gas pipelines safe? How is your pipeline safer than any other form of transportation?

Yes. Pipelines are the safest, most reliable and efficient manner of transporting energy products. There are more than 210 pipeline systems totaling over 305,000 miles of interstate and intrastate pipelines across the United States. Statistics gathered by the National Transportation Safety Board, a federal agency, indicate that less than 0.01 percent of all transportation accidents in the United States are related to pipelines.

Pipelines exist almost everywhere throughout the United States (generally buried underground) transporting the energy that you depend on every day to heat your home, generate electricity, cook your food and so much more. Pipelines are a vital and efficient part of the United States’ energy infrastructure.

At Williams, we understand that we have a responsibility to our neighbors and the communities along our pipelines to embrace pipeline safety by implementing stringent safety programs and practices every step of the way.

What should I do if I suspect a pipeline leak?

Leaks from pipelines are unusual, but we want you to know what to do in the unlikely event one occurs. Your senses of sight, hearing and smell are the best ways to recognize a pipeline leak.

If you experience a pipeline emergency situation, go to a safe location and call 911 or your local emergency response telephone number and the pipeline’s emergency phone number. Call collect, if necessary, and give your name, phone number and a description of the leak and its location. Call us immediately if you strike one of our pipelines or see someone working near them. Even minor dents, chips or scrapes are serious and can cause future leaks if the problem is not professionally repaired.

New Pipeline Projects

easement process

We strive to ensure the process of easement acquisition is transparent, clear and simple. We accomplish this by adhering to the following commitments:

1. provide information

We begin the process by contacting each landowner to request permission to survey and stake the preliminary route for environmental, engineering and construction evaluations. Our goal is for all landowners to understand all proposed features of the pipeline.

Fair Compensation

We’re committed to dealing fairly and paying each landowner for two things: a fair value, based upon market value principles and the number of acres needed and for the privilege of establishing a permanent easement across their land. We’ll obtain a permanent easement, but you’ll retain ownership and use of the land. Damages to crops, grazing lands, timber or any structures directly caused by construction and maintenance of the pipeline will also be compensated.

2. prompt payment

After the conditions and the amount of compensation for an easement are reached and the easement agreement is executed, a check will be issued to you.

3. advance notice

We’ll be sure to let you and any tenants know the actual timing of construction as far in advance as possible. This allows you and your tenants to schedule farming or other activities in ways that minimize any hiccups.

4. respect for ownership

You will retain ownership of the land. The easement (for right of way) only gives us the right to construct, maintain and operate a pipeline. Your use of the land, with certain limitations, will remain the same as before construction.

survey process

If you’re a landowner and your property may be impacted by a new pipeline or an expansion project, we’ll notify you with all the necessary information. This process normally begins with a request for permission for our representatives to conduct various ground surveys on the property. Generally, ground surveys cause little to no disruption to landowners. We’ll also actively interact with property owners to address concerns and, in some cases, modify route plans based on feedback.

  1. A request for permission for company representatives to conduct various ground surveys on the property.
  2. Survey crews survey collect important data and assess environmental, geological and archeological conditions.
  3. Survey crews walk the pipeline study corridor and in some cases may dig small holes or leave small stakes behind.