Eminent domain

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|

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|

Williams Company Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Faces Opposition

Opposition to the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline has focused on the absence of a public need for the pipeline. Dr. Dennis Witmer has supplied evidence refuting the asserted public need for Atlantic Sunrise. He also testified to the absence of a public need for the Sunoco Pipeline Mariner East 2 pipeline. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission continues to evaluate the Atlantic Sunrise proposal. Faherty Law Firm represents many property owners threatened by the Atlantic Sunrise proposal.
Battle’s new front: pipelines
As low prices for natural gas cause drillers to pull up stakes, companies are building conduits to move fuels to ports. Midstate residents are trying to stop the projects.

Written by: Colin Deppen | Patriot News

The energy boom of the last decade has, in the last year, grown eerily silent.

The drilling of new wells has slowed with the fuel supply outpacing demand and low prices dogging the market.

In response, drillers have moved out of Pennsylvania towns, leaving behind empty rental homes and ancillary businesses […]

By |June 21st, 2016|Categories: 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|

Threatened by Eminent Domain?

The US News and World Report has provided sound guidance for those threatened by eminent domain.
What to Do When You’re a Homeowner Threatened With Eminent Domain
Take steps to protect your rights as a property owner so you’re not left out in the cold.
You worked hard to become a homeowner, and it’s something you’re proud of. Between mortgage payments and the improvements you’ve always wanted to make, you work even harder to make it the home of your dreams – and to keep it that way.

But in the case of eminent domain, it’s out of your hands. A clause in the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution limits the government’s right to take private property for public use by requiring the property owner be given “just compensation” in return.

Eminent domain and what the government – either federal, state or local – has deemed “public use” has been a hot-button topic for years. While the taking of property in whole to build a […]

By |March 30th, 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|