Lawyer tries to stop seizure of farmland

A July Cumberland County Court ruling gave Sunoco Pipeline the go-ahead to use eminent domain to take a portion of Upper Frankford Township farmland for the Mariner East II pipeline.

But on Friday, the landowners’ attorney filed notice that he is appealing the decision to Commonwealth Court. Property owners Rolfe Blume, John Perry and Alan Waters were in court in February, arguing through their attorney, Mike Faherty, that Sunoco Pipeline does not have the authority to take parts of their land.

Faherty told the court that under state law, eminent domain cannot be used for private enterprise, even if there is an element of public use.

The pipeline would move liquid natural gas from Ohio to the Delaware River for shipment overseas, making it subject to federal regulations and not the state regulations that allow for eminent domain, he said.

But judges in Huntingdon and Washington counties, as well in another Cumberland County case with different property owners, have sided with Sunoco Pipeline.

A divided Commonwealth Court last month backed the Cumberland County ruling in that case.

Written by: Steve Marroni | Patriot News