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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.

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|

Mariner East 2 Appeals

The Commonwealth Court has affirmed a Cumberland County Case and a Lebanon County case providing eminent domain power to Sunoco Pipeline for the Mariner East 2 Pipeline. Faherty Law Firm filed petitions for Allowance of Appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in June of 2017. The Petitions quoted President John Adams: “Property must be secure, or liberty cannot exist.”

By |June 29th, 2017|Categories: Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Condemnations

Property owners in the path of the Williams Company Atlantic Sunrise pipeline are now subject to condemnation court filings. The litigation requests approval of the taking of property rights by eminent domain and quick possession of those rights. Property owners may have weak challenges to the condemnations, but continue with rights to just compensation. Williams Company appraisals have valued incorrect property rights to facilitate negotiation of minimal settlements. Owners are encouraged to contact experienced eminent domain counsel to obtain just compensation.
Access sought to 13 properties
A Texas gas pipeline company is seeking a preliminary injunction to obtain immediate possession of rights of way over 13 properties in four counties for the Atlantic Sunrise project.

The motion filed Wednesday in U.S. Middle District Court by Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Co. seeks access to four properties in Lebanon County, five in Columbia County, three in Northumberland and one in Schuylkill.

The 13 are among the 16 central Pennsylvania properties over which Transco seeks to obtain rights […]

By |February 24th, 2017|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

Environmental Groups Challenge Pipeline Approval

The recent Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection approval of the Mariner East 2 pipeline has been challenged by environmental groups. Sunoco Pipeline is progressing with construction while the appeal is considered. Similarly, construction is progressing while the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court considers the Property Rights Protection Act challenges to the power of eminent domain. Construction is projected to happen on those properties where Sunoco Pipeline has purchased easements or obtained possession of property rights. A Commonwealth Court decision on the Property Rights Protection Act may be issued in middle to late 2017.
Environmentalists oppose permits for Pa. pipeline
Environmental advocacy groups are trying to halt construction of a $2.5 billion natural gas liquids pipeline across southern Pennsylvania while they appeal newly issued permits that they say would unleash massive and irreparable damage to the state’s environment and residents.

In filings Monday, three groups said the state Department of Environmental Protection had approved incomplete and legally flawed permit applications for Sunoco Logistics’ Mariner East 2 […]

By |February 23rd, 2017|Categories: Condemnation, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

Sunoco Pipeline Obtains Environmental Approval

While Sunoco Pipeline has obtained regulatory approval, Sunoco continues to seek property rights. Faherty Law Firm continues to contest eminent domain power based on the Pennsylvania anti – Kelo statute, the Property Rights Protection Act. Oral argument is scheduled for March 6  before the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court in Harrisburg. Mike Faherty will ask the Court to review whether the public is the primary and paramount beneficiary of the project.
PA grants final permits for $2.5B Mariner East pipeline
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection on Monday approved water-crossing and sedimentation permits for the hotly contested Mariner East 2 pipeline, which would transport natural-gas liquids across Pennsylvania to a terminal in Marcus Hook.

The permits are believed to be the final regulatory hurdle for Sunoco Logistics to begin construction of the pipeline, though environmental groups that oppose the project, including the Clean Air Council and the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, are expected to appeal their approval to the Environmental Hearing Board.

DEP conducted five hearings and […]

By |February 14th, 2017|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

FERC Approval of Atlantic Sunrise

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved the Williams Partners proposed Atlantic Sunrise pipeline. Williams is expected to conclude property acquisition negotiations or proceed with condemnation filings in February, 2017.
Pipeline clears federal hurdle
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has signed off on the contested Atlantic Sunrise project, which calls for the expansion of a natural gas pipeline that would funnel natural gas from the Marcellus Shale regions through the midstate and across the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast.

The commission issued a certificate of public convenience and necessity to Williams Partners LP, placing the Oklahoma-based energy group behind the $3 billion project another step closer toward breaking ground on the expansion.

The energy company’s plans call for about 200 miles of new natural gas pipelines, some of which would pass through the midstate.

Williams Partners still must garner approvals from the Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the State Historic Preservation Office.

The decision marked the final clearance Williams Partners needed from […]

By |February 6th, 2017|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

FERC Approval Statement re Atlantic Sunrise

On December 30, 2016 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a Final Environmental Impact Statement endorsing the Williams Company Atlantic Sunrise pipeline. The Commission stated: “FERC staff determined that construction and operation of the project would result in some adverse environmental impacts, but impacts would be reduced to less-than-significant levels with the implementation of Transco’s proposed and FERC staff’s recommended mitigation measures.” Williams continues to buy options and easements for the large natural gas pipeline. The statement foreshadows final federal approval. Williams anticipates the start of mainline construction in mid-2017. Faherty Law Firm is negotiating revised easement terms and compensation for landowners.

Read FERC’s Opinion on the Final Environmental Impact Statement here.

By |January 10th, 2017|Categories: Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

Delay of Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline

The Federal Protection Environmental Protection Agency in July of 2016 recommended further environmental study and FERC consideration of alternative routes. This resulted in a delay in the projected issuance of the final Environmental Impact Statement to December 30, 2016 with expected FERC approval of the project on March 30, 2017. Williams Partners continues to purchase land options and purchase easements.
Williams delays Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project
Two pipelines fueled by Pennsylvania’s natural gas boom – the Atlantic Sunrise and Mariner East 2 pipelines – are expected to bisect Lebanon County. Here’s what you need to know.

Pipeline won’t be completed until 2018.

Tulsa, Okla.-based Williams Partners is delaying the target date for its proposed Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline until 2018 after federal regulators delayed their approval process.

The Atlantic Sunrise pipeline would bisect Lebanon County from north to south while carrying natural gas from Marcellus Shale-rich northeastern Pennsylvania to the Transcontinental Pipeline (Transco) that covers the east coast.

Williams Partners previously targeted the project to […]

By |December 22nd, 2016|Categories: Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

PA Supreme Court Protects Property Rights

A Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision provides very strong support of private property rights. It rejected an attempt at use of eminent domain for  primarily private, not public, purposes. The decision continues the long established consistency of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court protection of private property rights.

Eminent domain has again been reaffirmed to only be for a valid, and primarily, public purpose. The attached decision in the matter known as Robinson Township v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provides great support and encouragement to those challenging the Sunoco Pipeline attempt to use eminent domain for the Mariner East 2 proposed pipeline which would ship ethane across Pennsylvania and to Europe. The decision very strongly suggests that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will reject the use of eminent domain for the Mariner East 2 pipeline(s) which would have less public purpose than the underground gas storage proposal reviewed in the attached decision. The most pertinent language is found at pages 78 – 86. Pennsylvania property owners […]

By |September 30th, 2016|Categories: Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

Faherty Law Firm to Appeal Mariner East 2 Ruling

The Commonwealth Court has affirmed a Cumberland County ruling which approved eminent domain power for the Mariner East 2 pipeline. Michael Faherty represented the three involved property owners. Faherty Law Firm is requesting review by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. That court has issued past decisions which have strongly protected the property rights of Pennsylvania citizens. Some of these cases were cited by the Honorable P. Kevin Brobson of the Commonwealth Court in his dissenting opinion.

The entire Commonwealth Court decision may be found by clicking here.

Split Pa. court hands property owners a loss in fight against land seizures for Sunoco pipeline
A sharply-divided Commonwealth Court panel on Thursday dealt three Cumberland County couples a blow in their attempts to block Sunoco Logistics from seizing part of their properties for the Mariner East II natural gas transmission pipeline.

The court majority did that by upholding county President Judge Edward E. Guido’s decision issued last year to dismiss preliminary objections R. Scott and Pamela Martin […]

By |July 19th, 2016|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|