Condemnation

Deed In Place of Condemnation

The threat of eminent domain and the actual filing of an eminent domain action often end via a negotiated sale of property in place of condemnation. Property owners are guided to protect property rights via an experienced eminent domain attorney.

McCready v. Dept. of Comm. and Econ. Dev. No. 78 C.D. 2018 (March 5, 2019) – When no reservation of mineral rights through exception or reservation is in deed, absent mutual mistake, owner may not alter express and unambiguous deed provisions through parol evidence regarding her intent with respect to deed.

By |April 1st, 2019|Categories: Condemnation, Property Rights|

Pipeline Risk Study

Quest Consultants of Norman, Oklahoma has released a study titled Quantitative Risk Analysis for the Mariner East Pipeline Project.

Findings include:

Risk of fatality falls to zero at a distance of about 2,100 feet from the ME2 or ME2X pipeline.
Along the route, the risk of fatality is about 10% as likely as being fatally involved in a motor vehicle accident and about 150 times as likely as being struck by lightning.

The study may be reviewed by clicking here.

By |December 13th, 2018|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

Judges Halt Pipelines

Upon Judge direction, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) ordered stoppage of the construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline. The attached news story explains how environmental regulators are compelled by judges to provide mandated environmental protections.
What Happens When a Pipeline Runs Afoul of Government Rules? Authorities Change the Rules.
Federal authorities halted work on the massive Mountain Valley Pipeline this month after an appeals court ruled that federal agencies neglected to follow environmental protections.
Update, August 10, 9 p.m.: On Friday evening, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued an order halting all work on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. FERC cited an appeals court ruling that found the National Park Service and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service skirted environment rules when approving the $5.5 billion, 600-mile project.

A week ago, the federal government halted work on a massive pipeline project that runs from Northern West Virginia through Southern Virginia.

The government said it had no choice but to […]

By |September 6th, 2018|Categories: Condemnation, In the News, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

FERC Approval of Pipelines

The Wall Street Journal published an opinion which criticized the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission process by which property owners are denied the due process right of judicial review of eminent domain actions.
Pipeline Builders Abuse Eminent Domain
How FERC denies landowners the right to meaningful appeal.

Across the country activists are speaking out against the use of eminent domain to construct natural-gas pipelines. Some have climbed trees and refused to come down. The agency in charge of approving these pipelines—the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC—is reconsidering how eminent domain, by which the government legally expropriates private property for public purposes, is used.

While we stand with those who stand for individual rights—and enjoy a good tree-climb—protests like these can only go so far. The U.S. is a country of laws, and if a court rules that eminent domain can be used to construct a pipeline, then Americans must respect that ruling. But judges haven’t actually issued many such rulings. Right now FERC presides […]

By |August 14th, 2018|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

Clean Air Council v Sunoco Pipeline

An April 30, 2018  decision of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court rejected six of seven claims against Sunoco re environmental harms and eminent domain overreach. One claim, based on the Environmental Rights Amendment, was directed to further consideration by the Commonwealth Court.

Read the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court decision here.

By |May 31st, 2018|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

Boy Scout Award

Mike Faherty was provided the “Ideal Scout” award by the Lancaster Council of Boy Scouts. Mike an Eagle Scout and former Boy Scout employee, provided pro bono services to the Scouts when a scout camp was threatened by eminent domain. Mike was able to decrease the land acquired and increase compensation.

By |May 29th, 2018|Categories: Condemnation, In the News, Property Rights|

$5,000,000 Increase From Turnpike

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission condemned 70.9 acres through a 240 acre sportsman’s club. The Turnpike paid $1,750,000 for property damages and no funds for relocation damages. Faherty Law Firm provided representation and obtained a settelement  for an additional $5,000,000 in total damages.
Turnpike buys gun club land near near McDonald for $5 million
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has acquired a key piece of property to allow the construction of an interchange on the Southern Beltway — and protect the safety of motorists.

But it came at a hefty price: $5 million.

That’s the amount the commission agreed to pay last week to buy 70.9 acres of land from the McDonald Sportsmen’s Association, leaving the association 168.4 acres of property off of Cooks Road between McDonald and Midway, Washington County.

The commission needs the land to build interchange 11 on the $800 million, 13-mile toll road that will link Route 22 to Interstate 79 on the Allegheny-Washington County border. That interchange will be on the northeast […]

By |May 10th, 2018|Categories: Condemnation, In the News, Transportation|

Transource and Public Need

Pennsylvania law allows public utility corporations to use eminent domain power when the proposed use is “for the public”. If the proposed use is for the corporation and the public, Pennsylvania law looks to who is the primary and paramount beneficiary. If it is the corporation, Pennsylvania law precludes eminent domain power.
Transource sues landowners for access to properties where power lines are proposed
Transource Energy has sued 24 landowners, asking a Franklin County, Pa., judge to allow the public utility’s representatives to access properties to perform studies, tests and surveys as it proceeds with plans for 29 miles of overhead electric-transmission lines.

The company, through a subsidiary, requested in court documents immediate right of entry onto defendants’ properties. It claims landowners are prohibiting access despite “numerous contacts” since October.

“As a Pennsylvania public utility, Transource Pennsylvania has the power of eminent domain pursuant to the Pennsylvania Business Corporation Law of 1988,” lawyers said in filings.

Transource Pennsylvania made its filings a week ago at […]

By |March 15th, 2018|Categories: Condemnation, Electric Transmission, Eminent domain, Property Rights|

Mariner East 1 Shut Down

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Corporation, Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement, issued a report requesting an emergency order to stop the use of Mariner East 1 for transportation of explosive natural gas ligquids. The well grounded safety concerns compelled the PUC Chairman to stop the transportation of the hazardous liquids. Inspections and monitoring will follow.
PUC shuts down Mariner East 1 pipeline, citing public safety concerns raised by sinkholes
Pennsylvania’s Public Utility Commission on Wednesday ordered a temporary shutdown of the Mariner East 1 natural gas liquids pipeline, saying it could have a “catastrophic” effect on public safety if it leaks.

PUC Chairman Gladys Brown approved a request by the commission’s Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement for an emergency order that would halt operation of the line until inspectors are satisfied that it meets safety standards.

The panel, in a petition issued earlier Wednesday, argued that the pipeline had been exposed by the appearance of sinkholes near the construction of two other pipelines – Mariner […]

By |March 13th, 2018|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

PennEast and Eminent Domain

Eminent domain power is available only for a public use with the need for certain property rights. Public use and the need are two issues raised in a county suit to protect property rights.
Northampton County challenging PennEast on eminent domain
Northampton County wants a jury to decide whether publicly protected open space should be disturbed by the proposed PennEast Pipeline.

The county is one of dozens of landowners in Northampton and Upper Bucks counties targeted by the consortium of energy companies for property acquisition through eminent domain.

These properties are part of the proposed route for the 36-inch-diameter natural gas line connecting Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale region 120 miles southeast to Mercer County, New Jersey.

PennEast opened eminent domain proceedings, suing property owners in federal court after efforts failed to purchase land for the route.

Federal regulators approved the $1 billion pipeline Jan. 19, conditioned on PennEast securing other necessary approvals.

The county disputes PennEast’s power to condemn publicly preserved open space through eminent domain. The parcels […]

By |March 12th, 2018|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|