Undertaking a construction project on your property can be an exciting endeavor, whether it’s adding a new structure, expanding an existing one, or landscaping improvements.
However, it’s essential to be aware of potential hazards and regulations that might come into play, especially when dealing with essential utilities like gas lines.
One of the most critical questions you must ask yourself before beginning any construction work is, “Can You Build Over Buried Gas Lines?”
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the safety considerations, legal regulations, and best practices for working around buried gas lines to ensure a secure and successful construction process.
Building Over Buried Gas Lines
It’s easy to answer the question “Can you…”. Sure, you can!
A good question to ask is “Should you…”.
The answers to that one are much more difficult.
The first question is, does it make sense to build anything over a gas line? There is no doubt in my mind that the answer to that question is NO!
There is a risk that the gas can enter your building if the gas line is damaged – even if it is not under your building, because the gas can follow the line to the point of easiest release.
The next question is whether it is legal to build anything over a gas line. Generally, it is not allowed by the code in most jurisdictions.
Last but not least, you should think about the future. Would it be possible to stub off the gas line to add another tap? There’s going to be trouble if it’s under your building, or even THAT close.
A structure built over a natural gas pipeline is a safety hazard and may violate federal pipeline safety regulations if it is built too close to one.
This is why building a garage over a gas line is not recommended. Maintaining and repairing gas lines requires access to them, so they should remain clear and unobstructed.
The construction of a building over a gas line could additionally pose a safety hazard. If you are considering building over a gas line, you should consult with a professional first.
Does A Gas Pipeline Affect Property Value?
Yes, a gas pipeline can potentially affect property value, depending on factors like proximity, safety concerns, and local regulations. It may have positive or negative impacts on property value.
Do Pipelines Lower Property Value?
In some cases, pipelines can lower property value due to safety concerns, easements, and negative perceptions. However, the impact varies depending on factors such as location and local regulations.
How Much Does It Cost To Build A Natural Gas Pipeline?
The cost to build a natural gas pipeline can vary significantly based on several factors, including the length and diameter of the pipeline, terrain and geographical challenges, regulatory requirements, material costs, labor expenses, and environmental considerations.
Additionally, currency fluctuations and market conditions can also influence the overall cost.
The cost to build a natural gas pipeline can range from several hundred thousand dollars per mile for smaller, shorter pipelines to several million dollars per mile for larger, longer pipelines.
In some cases, extremely long or complex pipelines, especially those crossing challenging terrains or water bodies, can cost billions of dollars to construct.
For accurate and up-to-date cost estimates, it’s best to consult industry experts or specific pipeline construction companies, as the costs can vary significantly depending on the specific project details and prevailing economic conditions at the time of construction.
Is It Bad To Live Near A Natural Gas Pipeline?
Living near a natural gas pipeline can have both advantages and disadvantages, and the perception of whether it is “bad” or not can vary depending on individual perspectives and circumstances. Here are some factors to consider:
- Convenient Access to Natural Gas: If you have a property near a natural gas pipeline, you may have easy access to natural gas for heating, cooking, and other domestic purposes, which can be cost-effective and convenient.
- Energy Supply Reliability: Natural gas pipelines are a reliable means of supplying energy to communities, ensuring a steady and consistent energy supply for residents in the area.
- Economic Benefits: The presence of a natural gas pipeline infrastructure can attract businesses and industries to the area, potentially boosting the local economy and providing job opportunities.
- Safety Concerns: One of the main concerns of living near a gas pipeline is the potential safety risk. Though rare, leaks or accidents can happen, leading to gas explosions or other hazardous situations.
- Property Value Impact: As mentioned earlier, living near a gas pipeline could have a negative impact on property value due to safety concerns or negative perceptions.
- Easements and Restrictions: Properties near gas pipelines may have restrictions due to easements, limiting certain activities and development on the land.
- Environmental Impact: Gas pipelines can have environmental impacts during construction and operation, such as habitat disruption and potential water contamination in the case of spills or leaks.
- Regulatory Changes: Regulatory changes or shifts in the energy industry may affect the long-term viability of gas pipelines, potentially leading to changes in the local community’s economic dynamics.
How Close Can You Build To A Pipeline In Texas?
The allowable distance for building near a pipeline in Texas can vary depending on local regulations, zoning laws, and the specific pipeline operator’s guidelines.
In Texas, as in many other states, there are typically regulations in place to ensure the safety of residents and property when constructing near pipelines.
The specific rules and restrictions may be outlined in the following documents:
- Texas Administrative Code (TAC): The Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) is responsible for regulating pipelines in the state. The TAC may contain guidelines and safety requirements related to building near pipelines.
- Local Building Codes and Zoning Regulations: Cities and counties in Texas may have their own building codes and zoning regulations that dictate how far structures must be from pipelines or other utility easements.
- Pipeline Company’s Requirements: The pipeline company that owns or operates the pipeline may have their own guidelines and safety standards for construction near their infrastructure. These requirements could be more stringent than the state or local regulations.
In some cases, the required distance for building near a pipeline may be specified as a minimum setback distance, which could vary depending on factors such as pipeline size, pressure, and the nature of the surrounding land use.
To ensure compliance with all applicable regulations and guidelines, property owners and developers should contact the Texas Railroad Commission and the pipeline company to determine the specific requirements for building near a pipeline in their area.
Additionally, seeking guidance from a qualified engineer or construction professional with experience in pipeline proximity projects is advisable to ensure safety and adherence to all relevant regulations.
Can You Build A House Over A Natural Gas Pipeline?
Building a house directly over a natural gas pipeline is generally not recommended and may be prohibited by local building codes and regulations.
Placing a structure on top of a gas pipeline poses significant safety risks and could lead to potential hazards, including gas leaks, explosions, and fires.
Natural gas pipelines are buried underground for safety reasons, and building over them can interfere with the pipeline’s integrity, making it difficult to detect and address potential leaks.
Additionally, the weight of the structure and construction activities could damage the pipeline, resulting in dangerous consequences.
If you have concerns about a natural gas pipeline on your property or plan to build near one, it is essential to consult with the local gas utility company, regulatory authorities, and qualified professionals experienced in working with pipelines.
They can provide guidance on the necessary safety measures, required setbacks, and any legal restrictions related to building near or over gas pipelines to ensure compliance with safety standards and regulations.
How Close Can You Build To A Natural Gas Pipeline?
The allowable distance for building near a natural gas pipeline can vary depending on several factors, including local regulations, safety standards, and the specific pipeline operator’s guidelines.
The primary concern is to ensure the safety of residents and property, as well as the integrity of the pipeline.
In most regions, there are regulations and guidelines that dictate the minimum setback distance from a natural gas pipeline for construction activities.
These setbacks can vary depending on factors such as the size of the pipeline, its pressure, the type of construction, and the nature of the surrounding land use.
To determine how close you can build to a natural gas pipeline in your area, it is essential to consult the following:
- Local Building Codes and Zoning Regulations: Check with your city or county’s building department to understand the setback requirements for construction near pipelines in your specific location.
- Pipeline Operator’s Guidelines: Contact the company that owns or operates the natural gas pipeline to inquire about their requirements and safety standards for construction near their infrastructure.
- State and Federal Regulations: There may be state and federal regulations in place that govern construction activities near gas pipelines, such as those issued by the relevant regulatory agencies like the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) in the United States.
- Qualified Professionals: Consult with qualified engineers, surveyors, or construction experts who have experience working with pipelines to ensure compliance with safety guidelines.
Always prioritize safety when planning any construction near a natural gas pipeline. Failure to adhere to the required setback distances and safety regulations can lead to serious consequences, including potential gas leaks and other hazards.
It is best to work with experts who understand the specific requirements for your area and the pipeline in question.
The Bottom Line
An enclosed space cannot be built over an underground gas pipe. You cannot do a garage either since it is specifically for living space. The pipe can be enclosed in an outer conduit that is sealed on the inside and properly ventilated on the outside.