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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|

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Denial

On December 29, 2016 our Pennsylvania Supreme court refused to hear the property owners’ appeal of the Commonwealth Court decision of Martin et. al. v. Sunoco Pipeline. The Martin decision had approved the use of eminent domain for the Mariner East 2 pipelines. The Martin case had involved three properties. Owners of one of the properties settled before the Supreme Court decision. The approval of use of eminent domain is final and binding concerning the other two properties in that case.

Other cases remain on appeal. To the extent that those cases involve different issues and evidence, those cases preserve some hope that eminent domain would be eventually denied because the public is not the “primary and paramount beneficiary” of the project.

By |January 4th, 2017|Categories: Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction|

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|

Mariner East 2 Pipeline Risks

Dr. Kirk Jalbert has authored an analysis of the explosion risks of the Mariner East proposal of Sunoco Pipeline. His analysis of a 20 inch diameter pipeline transporting ethane would have a blast radius of 1,171 feet. He estimated 105,419 people to live within the Mariner East 2’s thermal impact zone. The threat to these individuals could be a significant consideration as to eminent domain power and who would be the primary and paramount beneficiary of such a pipeline.
Mariner East 2: At-Risk Schools and Populations
Written by: Kirk Jalbert, Manager of Community-Based Research & Engagement
with technical assistance from Seth Kovnant | Published in FracTracker Alliance

In September, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) rejected a number of permits for wetland crossings and sedimentation control that were required for Sunoco Pipeline’s proposed “Mariner East 2” pipeline. According to Sunoco, the proposed Mariner East 2 is a $2.5 billion, 350-mile-long pipeline that would be one of the largest pipeline construction projects in […]

By |December 14th, 2016|Categories: Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

Mariner East 2 Pipeline Again Delayed

Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. / Sunoco Pipeline has announced a delay in the start up (operation) of the Mariner East 2 proposed pipeline. Sunoco has now announced a plan of start up in the 3rd quarter of 2017. Sunoco attributed the delay to the Pa. Department of Environmental Protection permit process. Sunoco continues to attempt to obtain property rights from owners while eminent domain litigation continues in county and appellate courts.

Sunoco blames permit delays for later Mariner East 2 pipeline start-up
Written by: by Andrew Maykuth, Staff Writer / philly.com

Sunoco Logistics Partners LP said Thursday that it is pushing back next year’s start-up of the contentious Mariner East 2 pipeline to deal with unanticipated delays in obtaining permits from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

The 300-mile pipeline, which would deliver natural-gas liquids such as ethane and propane from the Marcellus Shale region to Sunoco’s Marcus Hook terminal, has aroused opposition from some adjoining property owners, as well as from environmental activists.

Michael […]

By |November 18th, 2016|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, In the News, Pipeline Construction|

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|

Township Proclamation Concerning Sunoco Pipeline

Thornbury Township in Delaware County, Pennsylvania has issued a Proclamation expressing great concern about Sunoco Pipeline use of Mariner East 1 and the Mariner East 2 proposal.

Thornbury Hazardous Liquids Proclamation

By |September 28th, 2016|Categories: Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

Faherty Law Firm Defends Property Rights in Commonwealth Court

Lawyer tries to stop seizure of farmland
A July Cumberland County Court ruling gave Sunoco Pipeline the go-ahead to use eminent domain to take a portion of Upper Frankford Township farmland for the Mariner East II pipeline.

But on Friday, the landowners’ attorney filed notice that he is appealing the decision to Commonwealth Court. Property owners Rolfe Blume, John Perry and Alan Waters were in court in February, arguing through their attorney, Mike Faherty, that Sunoco Pipeline does not have the authority to take parts of their land.

Faherty told the court that under state law, eminent domain cannot be used for private enterprise, even if there is an element of public use.

The pipeline would move liquid natural gas from Ohio to the Delaware River for shipment overseas, making it subject to federal regulations and not the state regulations that allow for eminent domain, he said.

But judges in Huntingdon and Washington counties, as well in another Cumberland County case with different property owners, […]

By |August 5th, 2016|Categories: Condemnation, 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|

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|