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.

Atlantic Sunrise Alternatives

The Federal Environmental Protection Agency has requested that FERC more fully explore two alternatives to the proposed pipeline. Williams Company is expected to provide additional information to FERC to support the existing pipeline proposal.

Faherty Law Firm represents many property owners threatened by the pipeline proposal. The law firm has negotiated easement terms which are much more favorable to the property owners. Settlements have been reached with increased compensation.
PA raises concerns about Atlantic Sunrise pipeline
By Marie Cusick | StateImpact

The Environmental Protection Agency is raising concerns about the potential impacts of the proposed Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline.

In a letter sent last week to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) the EPA criticizes FERC’s draft environmental impact statement, which found the pipeline would not create significant adverse impacts.

Although FERC is charged with making the final decision about whether the project moves forward, the commission did not fully examine alternative options to building a 197.7 miles of new pipeline, according to the EPA. […]

By |July 12th, 2016|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

Clean Air Council Order

The Clean Air Council filed a suit which sought to prevent Sunoco Pipeline from using eminent domain for the Mariner East 2 pipeline. A Philadelphia County Judge denied the Sunoco preliminary objections. Sunoco Pipeline asked the Commonwealth Court for the opportunity to appeal that Order. On June 21, 2016 the Commonwealth Court denied the Sunoco request to appeal. The Clean Air Council will now move forward with the suit seeking and order to prohibit Sunoco from attempting to use eminent domain power for Mariner East 2.

By |June 23rd, 2016|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

Atlantic Sunrise Challenge

The Williams Company proposal of the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline has been challenged by a lawsuit in Philadelphia. The timing of the progression of the lawsuit is uncertain. Williams Company hopes to have approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in October.
Group sues to derail pipeline
The Delaware Riverkeeper Network says a gas line that would run through 10 counties would violate the Clean Water Act.
Written by: Colin Deppen | Patriot News

After overcoming a series of regulatory hurdles, the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project has been dealt a potential setback as a lawsuit challenges its legality and that of its newly issued permits.

In the suit filed in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network of Bristol challenges state water-quality permits issued by the Department of Environmental Protection for the 200mile, 10-county, $2.6 billion natural gas pipeline project.

The group claims the project and water-quality plan would violate the federal Clean Water Act.

Maya van Rossum, a spokeswoman for the network, […]

By |May 16th, 2016|Categories: Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

Federal Regulations Undermine Sunoco Eminent Domain Argument

The Sunoco Pipeline litigation to obtain Pennsylvania eminent domain power has consistently resulted in Sunoco arguing that Mariner East 2 is interstate and intrastate. However, the federal regulations concerning such hazardous liquids pipelines state that a pipeline is interstate or intrastate, but not both. Application of the federal regulations strongly appear to define the proposed pipeline as interstate only, so that eminent domain power would be denied per exclusive federal jurisdiction (49 CFR Part 195 – Appendix A) and the definitions of Interstate pipeline and Intrastate pipeline (49 CFR 195.2).

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

Pipeline Companies Are Not Too Big To Fight

Pennsylvania property owners possess constitutional rights which protect private property. Faherty Law Firm represents property owners across the State in protection of property rights threatened by eminent domain. Sunoco Pipeline efforts to obtain eminent domain power for Mariner East 2 were defeated via Mike Faherty’s representation in Sunoco v. Loper. Sunoco then proposed onloading and offloading locations in Pennsylvania. However, a federal regulation, 49 C.F.R. Part 195 – Appendix A, states that the jurisdiction is exclusive federal jurisdiction. Judges, particularly appellate judges, may decide that exclusive federal jurisdiction prevents Sunoco from obtaining eminent domain power. Mike Faherty argued that issue on March 9, 2016 before the Commonwealth Court. A decision on this expedited appeal is expected in May or June.
Landowners lose before judge rules
Witten by: Candy Woodall and Colin Deppen |  Patriot-News

The woods that gave Pennsylvania its name have become battlegrounds in pipeline wars. These are passionately fought legal cases that pit rural landowners against huge corporations tasked with revolutionizing […]

By |April 13th, 2016|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

Strong Grassroots Opposition to Natural Gas Pipelines

The Lebanon Pipeline Awareness Coalition continues to work effectively in educating many on the problems with proposed pipelines.
Activists: Don’t stop fighting pipelines
Grassroots opposition is making a difference, panelists say
It is possible for an organized grassroots effort to thwart or at least impact the plans of two companies hoping to build natural gas pipelines through Lebanon County, experts say.

Those experts are panelists with knowledge of pipeline issues speaking to about 50 area residents during a forum at the Lebanon county courthouse Monday night.

“I know it’s been a long haul for you folks, and it may well be a long haul for another year or two, but you’re accomplishing a lot,” said Lynda Farrell, executive director of the Pipeline Safety Coalition.

The event, organized by anti-pipeline groups Lebanon Pipeline Awareness and Concerned Citizens of Lebanon County, featured four panelists from state and national organizations. Clean Air Council attorney Alex Bomstein cited the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s rejection last Friday of the Jordan Cove […]

By |March 23rd, 2016|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

Commonwealth Court Hears First Appeal of Eminent Domain Decision

On March 9, 2016 the full Commonwealth Court heard oral argument on the first appeal of a decision on the Sunoco Pipeline Mariner East 2 pipeline(s). The arguments focused on exclusive Federal jurisdiction as precluding Pennsylvania PUC regulation. The consolidated three cases remain on an expedited schedule and could reach a decision within one to three months.
Court weighs eminent domain in N. Middleton pipeline fight
A Cumberland County judge was wrong when he ruled that Sunoco Logistics can invoke eminent domain to seize land for its proposed Mariner East II pipeline, a lawyer for the owners of three targeted properties told a state appeals court panel Wednesday.

Judge Edward E. Guido found in his October decision that Sunoco had authority under state law for condemnations. But his logic was faulty because construction of the pipeline falls under federal authority, which does not allow the use of eminent domain for such projects, the landowners’ attorney, Michael Faherty, told Commonwealth Court judges hearing the […]

By |March 11th, 2016|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

Pennsylvanians vs. FERC

A group of Pennsylvania residents have challenged the operations of the Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC). The suit may push FERC to improved responsiveness to its obligation to regulate for safety. One correction of the following story is suggested. The article states that each time FERC approves a pipeline, the project is automatically granted eminent domain power. That is true for the natural gas pipelines per the Natural Gas Act. By contrast, FERC also approves hazardous liquids pipelines. These pipelines are not eligible for FERC eminent domain power, because that power is not contained in the controlling Interstate Commerce Act. The Sunoco Pipeline Mariner East 2 is one such hazardous liquids pipeline which was approved by FERC without eminent domain power.
Suit claims bias toward industry
A court filing contends a federal agency whose funding is based on the flow of gas is controlled by the companies it oversees.

104 pipelines have been approved across the U.S. in the last five years.

34 of those […]

By |March 9th, 2016|Categories: Eminent domain, News, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

Three Property Owners in Cumberland County Wait for Court’s Ruling

Mike Faherty presented a Cumberland County Judge with Memorandums of Law before a second day of trial.
Cumberland County property owners to find out soon if pipeline can run through land
Three Cumberland County property owners will have to wait until at least next month to find out if their arguments against a pipeline, proposed to run beneath their land, will stand up in court.

Monday was the second day of testimony in Cumberland County Court in the case of Upper Frankford Township property owners Rolfe Blume, John Perry and Alan Walters, who are arguing Sunoco Pipeline does not have the authority to take a portion of their land to build the underground pipeline that will ship liquid natural gas across the state.

After the hearing, Cumberland County Judge M.L. Ebert asked both parties to submit briefs with the court before he makes his ruling as to whether or not Sunoco Pipeline is authorized to exercise the power of eminent domain to take a […]

By |March 7th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|

Mariner East 2 Delay

Sunoco Logistics admits Mariner East 2 delay. The CEO related the delay to permits, not needed property rights!
Sunoco Logistics delays Mariner East 2 pipeline
Construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline, which has provoked landowner opposition along its route, has been pushed back until summer because of delays in obtaining permits, the pipeline’s operator announced Thursday.

Michael J. Hennigan, the chief executive of Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P., told investment analysts that more time was needed to obtain “hundreds of permits” required to build the cross-state pipeline, which will deliver Marcellus Shale natural gas liquids to Marcus Hook.

“I don’t like the word ‘delay,'” Hennigan said in response to an analyst who used the term. He said the the prolonged review was “not an intentional action” by any particular regulatory agency. The pipeline requires permits from several federal and state agencies, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

No mention was made […]

By |February 25th, 2016|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, In the News, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|