Author

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.

Transcourse Energy

The Transcourse Energy plan for a high voltage power line in York County is reported to progress to a final route proposal to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission by November 15, 2017. Owners should consult an experienced eminent domain attorney to protect owner rights on issues such as:

Eminent domain power
Regulatory approvals
Survey requests
Precondemnation activities
Harm to views
Electromagnetic fields
Easement terms
Proof of harms
Methods to value property
Just compensation
Condemnor payment of fees of owners

Experts: Landowners in path of power line project should know rights
Southern York County landowners who attended an informational meeting Thursday, Aug. 24, said they are prepared for a door knock if or when Transource Energy officials decide to step onto their property.
Hundreds of Hopewell, East Hopewell, Fawn and Lower Chanceford township residents stand to lose a portion of their land to a new above-ground high-voltage power-line project. Three state experts explained to them the rights they have to fight it.
Transource has the power of […]

By |September 13th, 2017|Categories: Condemnation, Electric Transmission, Eminent domain, Property Rights|

Atlantic Sunrise Condemnations

A challenge to eminent domain by a group of Roman Catholic nuns has been defeated. Federal Judge Jeffrey Schmehl approved the use of eminent domain for a project which was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Challenges, after Federal Regulatory approval via the Natural Gas Act, are regularly denied by Federal judges. Williams Company wrote in August of 2017 that construction will commence on or about September 15, 2017.
Judge grants pipeline builder possession of properties
A judge gave the builder of the Atlantic Sunrise gas pipeline possession of five remaining properties in Lancaster County on Wednesday, including a right of way through land owned by Roman Catholic nuns near Columbia, LancasterOnline reported.

U.S. Eastern District Court Judge Jeffrey Schmehl granted the Transcontinental Pipe Line Co.’s motion to condemn the rights of way.

The Atlantic Sunrise project is a $3 billion expansion of the existing Transco natural gas pipeline system, which delivers about 40 percent of the natural gas consumed in Pennsylvania.

The project […]

By |August 31st, 2017|Categories: Condemnation, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

Draft Settlement Re Mariner East 2 Spills

In draft deal, Sunoco agrees to new pipeline drilling conditions as groups withdraw court challenge
Sunoco Pipeline agreed on Tuesday to meet new environmental safeguards for drilling on its Mariner East 2 pipeline project in return for withdrawal of a court challenge by three environmental groups.

The two sides reached a draft settlement agreement that may avert a hearing before Pennsylvania’s Environmental Hearing Board if the judge in charge of the case approves the details. A ban on many of Sunoco’s horizontal directional drilling sites, imposed by Judge Bernard Labuskes on July 25, remains in place until he decides whether to sign off on the deal.

The hearing that was due to begin Wednesday has been canceled.

If the judge confirms the agreement, Sunoco will take steps to protect private water wells, some of which were contaminated by the drilling in recent months. The company agreed to notify landowners within 450 feet of a horizontal drilling location ten days before it starts work there, […]

By |August 9th, 2017|Categories: In the News, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

FERC Asked to Investigate Mariner East 2

Recent construction spills and contaminated water has resulted in a U.S. Congress request for a FERC investigation. In the interim, a Pennsylvania Environmental Board hearing which was scheduled for August 7 was postponed to August 9 while negotiations progress concerning the order to halt horizontal drilling.
Democratic lawmakers ask FERC to investigate Mariner East 2 pipeline builder
Two ranking Democrats in Congress have asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), to further investigate the practices of pipeline builder Energy Transfer Partners, which has merged with Sunoco Logistics, after spills and permit violations occurred on two of its major projects in three different states, including the Mariner East 2 pipeline here in Pennsylvania.

In a letter to FERC last Thursday, Congressman Frank Pallone Jr., and Washington state Senator Maria Cantwell, detail recent spills in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, and criticize the company for misleading regulators by destroying an historic home in Ohio. StateImpact reported recently on a judge ordering ETP/Sunoco to stop construction […]

By |August 9th, 2017|Categories: In the News, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

Sunoco Pipeline Construction Spills

Property owners along the route of the Mariner East 2 construction would be wise to inspect their property following multiple construction spills. The following news story discusses the spills. The referenced list of 49 incidents is also included. View the list here. Construction spills could result in DEP fines. They could also result in Sunoco Pipeline liability for property harm beyond acquired property rights.
DEP issues few violations, one fine for Sunoco’s pipeline construction spills
Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection has issued four Notices of Violation, one consent order and one fine to Sunoco Pipeline for dozens of drilling mud spills that occurred along the length of the Mariner East 2 pipeline construction project. The DEP released a statement on Friday describing its efforts to manage Sunoco’s construction of the 350-mile long pipeline where drilling has caused water-contamination incidents in recent weeks.

DEP also provided a link to a list of 49 incidents, as well as copies of the Notices of Violations, one […]

By |August 9th, 2017|Categories: Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights, Uncategorized|

Temporary DeFacto Taking

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court has explicated that a de facto “in effect” taking can take place over a specified period of time. In Re Mountaintop Area Joint Sanitary Auth. v. DeLuca, No. 1318 CD 2016 (July 12, 2017) the court noted that a sewer-authority chose to operate a system in a manner which would sporadically flood the landowners home. The court found that an easement was taken for a period of nearly five years. A Board of Viewers will determine damages per the Pennsylvania Eminent Domain Code.

One week later Faherty Law Firm presented evidence that a Centre County Township effectuated a temporary de facto taking via use of the landowners property as a shortcut between two public roads.

By |August 2nd, 2017|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, In the News, Property Rights, Uncategorized|

Sunoco Pipeline Offers re Wells

Sunoco offers affected well owners along pipeline $60K; petition seeks to halt construction
Sunoco Pipeline LP has offered $60,000 each to at least 14 households in Chester County whose water wells were impaired this month by the company’s construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline, according to two people involved in the negotiations.

The $60,000 would pay for each household’s water bills for years to come after it is connected to Aqua Pennsylvania’s public water system.

Earlier this month, 14 households near Township Line Road in West Whiteland and Uwchlan Townships complained that the water from their private wells was interrupted or had become cloudy. Sunoco subsequently suspended drilling in that area. At issue is water that is released in the process of constructing the pipeline. Sunoco says it uses a mix of water and naturally occurring, nontoxic bentonite clay.

Jeffrey Shields, a Sunoco spokesman, said Thursday that the company will not comment on private negotiations.

The offer, made to the homeowners Wednesday night, was […]

By |July 31st, 2017|Categories: Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

Suspension of Mariner 2 Drilling

EcoWatch has provided a review of recent orders suspending some work on the Sunoco Logistics Mariner East 2 Pipeline.
Sunoco Ordered to Temporarily Suspend Drilling on Pipeline Project
The Pennsylvania’s Environmental Hearing Board ordered Sunoco Pipeline LP Tuesday to temporarily halt some types of work on a $2.5 billion pipeline project designed to carry 275,000 barrels a day of butane, propane and other liquid fossil fuels from Ohio and West Virginia, across Pennsylvania, to the Atlantic coast.

On July 19, three environmental groups presented Judge Bernard Labuskes, Jr. with documentation showing that the project had caused dozens of drilling fluid spills and other accidents between April and mid-June.

“Across the state, Sunoco has unleashed drilling fluid into exceptional value wetlands, high-quality trout streams, reservoirs, and groundwater endangering both drinking water supplies and our natural environment,” Clean Air Council said in a statement. The nonprofit, along with the Mountain Watershed Association, Inc. and the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, submitted the evidence to the judge one week […]

By |July 30th, 2017|Categories: News, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

Mariner East 2 Environmental Violations

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has fined Sunoco Logistics and is investigating numerous other incidents. Property owners may have a cause of action based on trespass or pollution beyond Sunoco acquired property rights.
DEP issues violation notices over pipeline
The state Department of Environmental Protection has issued four notices of violation to Sunoco Logistics over its construction of the $3 billion, 350-milelong Mariner East 2 pipeline.

The notices were issued to Sunoco in two of the 17 counties along the pipeline route for drilling fluid’s – a mix of water and bentonite clay used to lubricate the drill bit – impact on the state’s water. The department says the fluid is nontoxic and doesn’t have lasting effects on water.

Additionally, a consent order and agreement has been executed for a violation that impacted a wetland

area next to Interstate 81 in Cumberland County. That resulted in a $87,600 penalty. Plus, numerous other investigations of incidents that are anticipated to result in enforcement actions are […]

By |July 25th, 2017|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights, Uncategorized|

Mariner East 2 Additional Line Rights

Sunoco Pipeline has provided owners with Exhibit B plans/maps showing easement rights beyond the boundaries of rights as provided in old easements. When challenged, Sunoco Pipeline has at times revised the asserted rights to areas contained within prior prior easements. Property owners are cautioned that Sunoco Pipeline has frequently recorded Memorandums of Additional Line Rights without notice to the property owners. Property owners should check with the County Recorder of Deeds.

By |June 30th, 2017|Categories: Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|