Transcource – Independence Energy Connection

The proposed route of the Transcource proposed electrical transmission has been determined. Transcource is now expected to attempt to purchase easements. Landowners should be aware that eminent domain damages are based on harm to the entire property, not just the land contained within the easement(s). Some transmission line companies intentionally minimize damages by appraising incorrect property rights.
Transource settles on proposed power line route through York County
An operator of competitive wholesale electricity and its contractor have notified York County property owners of the final route of a proposed two-state transmission line it intends to submit to utility regulators in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

PJM Interconnection hired Transource Energy last year to build the $320 million “market efficiency” project, known as the “Independence Energy Connection.”

The east segment of the project includes approximately 16 miles of new overhead electric transmission line that will connect a new substation in Lower Chanceford Township to the existing Conastone Substation, near Norrisville in Harford County, Maryland.

There also is a […]

By |October 19th, 2017|Categories: Condemnation, Electric Transmission, Eminent domain|

Atlantic Sunrise Approval

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued the final approval for the pipeline which is now under construction. Just compensation issues remain for some property owners.
Regulators OK Atlantic Sunrise pipeline
Federal regulators have given final approval to a company planning a contested $3 billion pipeline to carry natural gas from northeastern Pennsylvania to Southern states.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued the notice on Friday for a 197-mile stretch of the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline in Pennsylvania.

Climate activists, including a group of nuns who allowed activists to build an outdoor chapel on the proposed pipeline route, had challenged the project.

Christopher Stockton, a spokesman for parent company Williams Partners, says work likely will begin the week of Sept. 25. The contractor needs time to prepare the site.

Lancaster Against Pipelines, the activist group that built the chapel, has vowed to protect the structure.

– Associated Press

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

FERC Commissioners

In August of 2017 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission returned to an adequate number of Commissioners to act on pipeline proposals. FERC is widely expected to soon approve the 120 mile long PennEast pipeline from Luzerne County, Pennsylvania to Mercer County, New Jersey. Property owners who refused negotiations may soon be faced with condemnation of pipeline easements.
PennEast pipeline set for FERC approval after Senate confirms new commissioners
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is likely to issue its final approval to the controversial PennEast Pipeline project through Pennsylvania and New Jersey now that it has a quorum of commissioners for the first time since February, observers said on Friday.

The top federal regulator of interstate pipelines is expected to issue a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to the project this summer, allowing it to use eminent domain to take land for construction from landowners who have refused its offers of compensation.

FERC has a quorum now that the U.S. Senate approved two of […]

By |September 15th, 2017|Categories: Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

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|