Property Rights

Blume Stops Sunoco

Rolfe Blume of Upper Frankford Township near Carlisle, Pennsylvania operates a gun shop on his property and supports the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. He also has vigorously fought for 5th Amendment property rights. His challenge to the Mariner East 2 pipeline as being for private enterprise, rather than for a public purpose, is pending before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Recently his multiple complaints to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection helped convince the Department to suspend the pipeline construction.
Man sees halt in pipeline construction as small victory
“They ruined my place, they ruined my life, they ruined everything. There is so much stuff they’re doing wrong, it’s a danger to people and property. It should have been stopped a long time ago.” – Rolfe Blume
Construction of the pipeline planned to ship liquid natural gas across the state has been put on hold over multiple violations, and that comes as no surprise to one Cumberland County man.

“I haven’t had water […]

By |January 11th, 2018|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

PA DEP Suspends Mariner East 2 Construction

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has suspended Mariner East 2 construction. Multiple Sunoco Pipeline violations, including some against Faherty Law Firm clients, have led the PA DEP to order a halt on construction.
DEP stops construction on Mariner East 2 pipeline after multiple violations
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has suspended all work on the Mariner East 2 pipeline after citing multiple violations.

The 24-page order suspends all construction permits until Sunoco Pipeline LP meets all requirements outlined in the order. Crews can still perform maintenance of erosion controls and limited maintenance of horizontal directional drilling equipment.

“Until Sunoco can demonstrate that the permit conditions can and will be followed, DEP has no alternative but to suspend the permits,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell in a news release. “We are living up to our promise to hold this project accountable to the strong protections in the permits.”

Some of the terms Sunoco must adhere to include:

Addressing all impacts to private water wells […]

By |January 5th, 2018|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

Mariner East 2 Pipeline Update

Faherty Law Firm continues in representation of multiple property owners threatened by the Sunoco Pipeline Mariner East 2 Pipeline. Petitions for Allowance of Appeal  are pending before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The primary challenge is that the pipeline is primarily for private, not public, use. The attached StateImpact publication provides further updates.
Top 10 things you need to know about Mariner East 2
Updated, 1:25 p.m. Jan. 3: The DEP has suspended all construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline, citing permit violations.

Original story: It’s 18 months behind its original schedule, and beset by lawsuits, drilling mud spills, damaged aquifers, a court order and angry residents.

But Mariner East 2, the cross-state natural gas liquids pipeline, is expected eventually to create jobs and provide a lucrative link to world markets for the rich reserves of Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale. Sunoco says some gas will be sold domestically as propane. But the bulk of the gas will be shipped to places like Scotland and Sweden, […]

By |January 5th, 2018|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

Public Use

The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution allows for the condemnation of private property “for public use”. State Constitutions and law similarly limit eminent domain power to only be authorized for a valid public use. If FERC insists on approving pipelines without an adequate public purpose, the law could allow that without eminent domain power. The pipeline companies could then buy property rights from willing sellers. Such is the thrust of the law in the authorizations of hazardous liquid pipelines, as contrasted with natural gas pipelines.
FERC sued over alleged ‘unconstitutional’ granting of pipeline certificates
Via NJ Spotlight

In another challenge to the expansion of natural-gas pipelines, a conservation group is accusing a federal agency of unlawfully allowing the taking of private land in a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Trenton.

The lawsuit filed against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by the New Jersey Conservation Foundation is the latest legal entanglement involving the 120-mile PennEast pipeline, a project spanning two […]

By |December 7th, 2017|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

Gas Pipeline Approvals Without A Public Need

An independent analysis has revealed the data showing that federal regulators approved U.S. pipelines providing capacity more than double consumption. The report provides support to those challenging pipeline approval and the use of eminent domain power as lacking the required public need. Challenges to pipelines based on a lack of a public need have improved, albeit still limited, chances of success.
New gas pipeline capacity sharply exceeds consumption, report says
Charges that the U.S. pipeline industry is building far more natural gas pipelines than it needs are being fueled by a new report showing that the capacity of lines approved by federal regulators over the last two decades was more than twice the amount of gas actually consumed daily in 2016.

The report by the independent Analysis Group for the Natural Resources Defense Council said the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved more than 180 billion cubic feet a day (bcf/d) of new pipeline capacity since 1999, when it began its current policy […]

By |November 22nd, 2017|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

Susquehanna Thruway Rerouted

Property owners threatened by the Susquehanna Thruway will be able to learn the status of their property on November 15, 2017 when PennDOT reveals the new route at a public meeting. Faherty Law Firm attorneys will attend the meeting and be available to answer questions.
PennDOT sets new route for Susquehanna thruway
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has announced the new alignment it prefers for a 2-mile section on the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway in Snyder County.

PennDOT was forced to find a new path for part of the U.S. Routes 11/15 bypass of Shamokin Dam and Hummels Wharf after discovering the limited-access highway could not be built over two fly-ash basins.

It studied three alternatives and said it is recommending the route that passes east of the basins.

It has the least impact on homes, farm land and noise levels, it says.

It will require taking seven additional residences, said Matt Beck, assistant plans engineer.

Five other residences already are acquired and will not be needed, […]

By |November 13th, 2017|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, Property Rights|

Atlantic Sunrise Stay Followed By Construction Restart

Environmental groups were able to convince a Federal Court to stop construction while environmental concerns were considered. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ended the stay. This allows construction to be restarted.
ATLANTIC SUNRISE
Pipeline construction to resume as federal court dissolves stay
Construction of the Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline will resume today.

That was the comment from Williams Partners on Wednesday night after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia dissolved the administrative stay it had issued Monday.

The court’s one-page order states the seven environmental groups that wanted to stop the pipeline project had not satisfied the stringent requirements for a stay.

A three-judge panel had issued it saying the court needed time to review the environmental organizations’ contention the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s review of the project did not meet the standard for evaluating greenhouse-gas emissions.

The groups, which included Concerned Citizens of Lebanon County, Lancaster Against Pipelines, Lebanon Pipe Awareness and the Sierra Club also […]

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

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|