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About Michael Faherty

Attorney Michael F. Faherty leads Faherty Law Firm in the advocacy of property rights in providing eminent domain law services to Pennsylvania property owners. He provides legal representation to property owners. He provides legal representation to property owners in conjunction with his service as the only Pennsylvania representative to the Owners’ Counsel of America. The Owners’ Counsel is the national association of leading eminent domain attorneys and property rights advocates.

Further Challenge To PennEast Pipeline

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection had previously presented concerns with the environmental impacts of the proposed pipeline from northeastern Pennsylvania into New Jersey. Now, the Department has taken the more agressive step of asking the federal regulators of FERC to reconsider the FERC approval from last month. Traditionally federal and state regulators have been very supportive of pipeline development. This filing follows the recent trend of more active regulatory oversight.
NJDEP asks Feds to reconsider PennEast pipeline decision, setting up potential legal battle
The NJDEP has asked FERC to place a stay on eminent domain proceedings by the controversial pipeline company.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection filed a request with federal regulators Friday, asking that they reconsider a key decision regarding the controversial PennEast pipeline. The move signals an escalation in the DEP’s opposition to the project and could set the table for a legal battle.

In January, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted a certificate to PennEast that would […]

By |February 21st, 2018|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

PennEast Pipeline – Eminent Domain Filed

A natural gas pipeline proposed for Luzerne County, Pennsylvania to Mercer County, New Jersey has been approved by FERC. The application still needs permits from the Delaware River Basin Commission and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The company has filed eminent domain documents. Property owners are encouraged to protect their property rights.
PennEast pipeline seeks eminent domain, plus U.S. marshals to protect workers

The PennEast Pipeline Co. filed eminent domain notices in federal court to obtain access to land owned by dozens of people in New Jersey and Pennsylvania who have refused its offers of compensation for building the proposed natural gas pipeline on their property.

Court documents were filed in both states on Tuesday, asking the courts to allow the company to immediately take possession of the rights of way where the pipeline would be built on individual properties.

The company also asked the court to approve the presence of federal marshals to “enforce the Court’s injunction” and to prevent landowners and their supporters from impeding construction.

The filing said that landowners and their supporters have […]

By |February 18th, 2018|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

DEP Fine of Sunoco Pipeline

The Pennsylvania DEP ordered a January 3 halt to the Mariner East 2 pipeline construction following multiple permit violations. The DEP has now allowed a February 8 restart to construction following an agreement with Sunoco Pipeline with a fine of $12,600,000. The DEP will monitor further construction.

The delay has led Sunoco to offer the purchase of additional one year easements for ongoing construction/remediation work. Property owners are not obligated to agree. Faherty Law Firm is providing legal representation to owners approached by Sunoco Pipeline for additional property rights.


Sunoco fined $12M, but allowed to resume work on Pa. pipeline
Pennsylvania regulators are fining Sunoco more than $12 million for problems with a massive natural gas pipeline project, but letting work resume under a consent agreement.

The Department of Environmental Protection said Thursday that Sunoco Pipeline has made changes since work on the $2.5 billion Mariner East 2 pipeline was halted Jan. 3.
Rolfe Blume holds up bottles of water that he said came from […]

By |February 15th, 2018|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

Blume Stops Sunoco

Rolfe Blume of Upper Frankford Township near Carlisle, Pennsylvania operates a gun shop on his property and supports the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. He also has vigorously fought for 5th Amendment property rights. His challenge to the Mariner East 2 pipeline as being for private enterprise, rather than for a public purpose, is pending before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Recently his multiple complaints to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection helped convince the Department to suspend the pipeline construction.
Man sees halt in pipeline construction as small victory
“They ruined my place, they ruined my life, they ruined everything. There is so much stuff they’re doing wrong, it’s a danger to people and property. It should have been stopped a long time ago.” – Rolfe Blume
Construction of the pipeline planned to ship liquid natural gas across the state has been put on hold over multiple violations, and that comes as no surprise to one Cumberland County man.

“I haven’t had water […]

By |January 11th, 2018|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

PA DEP Suspends Mariner East 2 Construction

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has suspended Mariner East 2 construction. Multiple Sunoco Pipeline violations, including some against Faherty Law Firm clients, have led the PA DEP to order a halt on construction.
DEP stops construction on Mariner East 2 pipeline after multiple violations
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has suspended all work on the Mariner East 2 pipeline after citing multiple violations.

The 24-page order suspends all construction permits until Sunoco Pipeline LP meets all requirements outlined in the order. Crews can still perform maintenance of erosion controls and limited maintenance of horizontal directional drilling equipment.

“Until Sunoco can demonstrate that the permit conditions can and will be followed, DEP has no alternative but to suspend the permits,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell in a news release. “We are living up to our promise to hold this project accountable to the strong protections in the permits.”

Some of the terms Sunoco must adhere to include:

Addressing all impacts to private water wells […]

By |January 5th, 2018|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

Mariner East 2 Pipeline Update

Faherty Law Firm continues in representation of multiple property owners threatened by the Sunoco Pipeline Mariner East 2 Pipeline. Petitions for Allowance of Appeal  are pending before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The primary challenge is that the pipeline is primarily for private, not public, use. The attached StateImpact publication provides further updates.
Top 10 things you need to know about Mariner East 2
Updated, 1:25 p.m. Jan. 3: The DEP has suspended all construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline, citing permit violations.

Original story: It’s 18 months behind its original schedule, and beset by lawsuits, drilling mud spills, damaged aquifers, a court order and angry residents.

But Mariner East 2, the cross-state natural gas liquids pipeline, is expected eventually to create jobs and provide a lucrative link to world markets for the rich reserves of Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale. Sunoco says some gas will be sold domestically as propane. But the bulk of the gas will be shipped to places like Scotland and Sweden, […]

By |January 5th, 2018|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

Public Use

The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution allows for the condemnation of private property “for public use”. State Constitutions and law similarly limit eminent domain power to only be authorized for a valid public use. If FERC insists on approving pipelines without an adequate public purpose, the law could allow that without eminent domain power. The pipeline companies could then buy property rights from willing sellers. Such is the thrust of the law in the authorizations of hazardous liquid pipelines, as contrasted with natural gas pipelines.
FERC sued over alleged ‘unconstitutional’ granting of pipeline certificates
Via NJ Spotlight

In another challenge to the expansion of natural-gas pipelines, a conservation group is accusing a federal agency of unlawfully allowing the taking of private land in a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Trenton.

The lawsuit filed against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by the New Jersey Conservation Foundation is the latest legal entanglement involving the 120-mile PennEast pipeline, a project spanning two […]

By |December 7th, 2017|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

Gas Pipeline Approvals Without A Public Need

An independent analysis has revealed the data showing that federal regulators approved U.S. pipelines providing capacity more than double consumption. The report provides support to those challenging pipeline approval and the use of eminent domain power as lacking the required public need. Challenges to pipelines based on a lack of a public need have improved, albeit still limited, chances of success.
New gas pipeline capacity sharply exceeds consumption, report says
Charges that the U.S. pipeline industry is building far more natural gas pipelines than it needs are being fueled by a new report showing that the capacity of lines approved by federal regulators over the last two decades was more than twice the amount of gas actually consumed daily in 2016.

The report by the independent Analysis Group for the Natural Resources Defense Council said the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved more than 180 billion cubic feet a day (bcf/d) of new pipeline capacity since 1999, when it began its current policy […]

By |November 22nd, 2017|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

Susquehanna Thruway Rerouted

Property owners threatened by the Susquehanna Thruway will be able to learn the status of their property on November 15, 2017 when PennDOT reveals the new route at a public meeting. Faherty Law Firm attorneys will attend the meeting and be available to answer questions.
PennDOT sets new route for Susquehanna thruway
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has announced the new alignment it prefers for a 2-mile section on the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway in Snyder County.

PennDOT was forced to find a new path for part of the U.S. Routes 11/15 bypass of Shamokin Dam and Hummels Wharf after discovering the limited-access highway could not be built over two fly-ash basins.

It studied three alternatives and said it is recommending the route that passes east of the basins.

It has the least impact on homes, farm land and noise levels, it says.

It will require taking seven additional residences, said Matt Beck, assistant plans engineer.

Five other residences already are acquired and will not be needed, […]

By |November 13th, 2017|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, Property Rights|

Atlantic Sunrise Stay Followed By Construction Restart

Environmental groups were able to convince a Federal Court to stop construction while environmental concerns were considered. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ended the stay. This allows construction to be restarted.
ATLANTIC SUNRISE
Pipeline construction to resume as federal court dissolves stay
Construction of the Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline will resume today.

That was the comment from Williams Partners on Wednesday night after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia dissolved the administrative stay it had issued Monday.

The court’s one-page order states the seven environmental groups that wanted to stop the pipeline project had not satisfied the stringent requirements for a stay.

A three-judge panel had issued it saying the court needed time to review the environmental organizations’ contention the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s review of the project did not meet the standard for evaluating greenhouse-gas emissions.

The groups, which included Concerned Citizens of Lebanon County, Lancaster Against Pipelines, Lebanon Pipe Awareness and the Sierra Club also […]

By |November 12th, 2017|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights, Uncategorized|