Tag Archives: eminent domain

Ruling Could Mean Delays for Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Atlantic Coast Pipeline opponent at FERC scoping meeting on M<arch 18, 2015/Photo via Friends of Nelson
A Buckingham resident objects to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline encroaching on local property/Photo via Friends of Nelson

By Duncan Adams, Roanoke Times

If nothing else, a ruling Tuesday by a judge in Suffolk Circuit Court delays Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s campaign to gain access to about 50 acres of private property in the city without the owner’s permission to survey for a possible route for a portion of the interstate natural gas pipeline.

Judge Carl Eason found that Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s notice to Davis Boulevard LLC, a residential developer, of the pipeline company’s intent to survey the property without permission was flawed because the notification came from Dominion Transmission Inc. — one of the partners for the proposed pipeline — and not Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

Jim Norvelle, a spokesman for Dominion and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, said the ruling is largely a technical matter and will not impact the project schedule. New letters will be sent from Atlantic Coast Pipeline, he said.

Even though the ruling focuses on a single case in Suffolk, a lawyer from the Norfolk firm of Waldo and Lyle who represented Davis Boulevard LLC and its managing partner believes Eason’s decision could have broader implications and consequences for the project. Continue reading Ruling Could Mean Delays for Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Trying to Pull a Fast One? Dominion Gives Too-Short Notice to Landowners

ACP_AlternativesBy Brian Carlton, Waynesboro News Virginian

WAYNESBORO — Letters sent out to landowners impacted by the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Augusta, Buckingham and Nelson counties violated state law, project opponents say. Dominion officials, meanwhile, claim the problem stems from a mistake made while typing up the documents and will soon be corrected.

On Feb. 23, letters were sent out to all landowners in the study corridor for the pipeline’s alternative routes, telling them when the company would start surveying properties. Each of those letters stated that “Dominion plans to begin studies along the newly developed route alternatives on or about March 2, 2015.” Continue reading Trying to Pull a Fast One? Dominion Gives Too-Short Notice to Landowners

Nelson County Group Takes Offensive Against Pipeline Surveys

pipeline4By Chris Graham, Augusta Free Press

In response to Dominion and Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC’s latest effort to expedite surveys on hundreds of properties in Nelson County, Nelson County residents are taking the offensive.

Friends of Nelson continues to organize landowners in opposition to these illegal surveys.  And another lawsuit targeting Dominion could be on the horizon.

Property owners started receiving letters yesterday from Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC, dated February 23, stating that surveys will begin in Nelson on Monday, March 2. Continue reading Nelson County Group Takes Offensive Against Pipeline Surveys

Property Rights Become Focus of Pipeline Lawsuit

By Lauren Berg, News Virginian

Following a previous lawsuit just a few weeks ago, a second decision on property rights and how they affect the planned Atlantic Coast Pipeline is in the hands of a federal judge.

On Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Urbanski heard arguments in Harrisonburg from both sides in a dispute over whether a utility company’s workers have the right to survey someone’s land.

Churchville resident William Little II filed a two-part lawsuit against Dominion Resources, arguing that the gas company would be trespassing on his property if it came to do a survey of his land for the proposed pipeline route. He also argued that a Virginia statute related to natural gas companies should be declared unconstitutional. Continue reading Property Rights Become Focus of Pipeline Lawsuit

Preserve Franklin Protests Mountain Vally Pipeline

Pipeline protest
Mountain Valley Pipeline protesters made their opinions known in front of the Franklin County Courthouse.

By Jason Dunovant, Smith Mountain Eagle

Members of the group Preserve Franklin gathered at the Rocky Mount Courthouse steps this past Thursday to protest the construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Concerned citizens, mostly Franklin County residents, braved cold temperatures and high winds to hold signs that warned of what they believe are real dangers if the pipeline is constructed.

For Preserve Franklin, the battle to stop the pipeline has been difficult. Residents along the route of the pipeline and even the counties themselves have little say in if the pipeline is constructed. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission itself will give final approval of the project. Continue reading Preserve Franklin Protests Mountain Vally Pipeline

Landowner Makes His Case at Dominion Lawsuit Hearing

Photo by Mike Tripp, The News Leader
Photo by Mike Tripp, The News Leader

By Calvin Trice, The News Leader

HARRISONBURG – If Dominion asks a landowner for permission to survey property for a pipeline route and the homeowner says “no,” can the company come onto the land anyway?

Churchville homeowners William and Wendy Little believe their “no” means no. Dominion’s representatives say the company still has the right to survey the couple’s 5 acres.

The Littles’ lawyer argued in a hearing for their federal lawsuit Thursday that the state law that grants natural gas companies the right to study private land without the owner’s permission doesn’t speak to the Littles’ case. Continue reading Landowner Makes His Case at Dominion Lawsuit Hearing

State Lawmaker’s Property May Be on Mountain Valley Pipeline Route

By Alicia Petska, Lynchburg News Advance

One of the biggest backers of the state’s 2012 constitutional amendment narrowing eminent domain may have to cede a piece of his family land to the Mountain Valley Pipeline project out in southwest Virginia.

Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg, said in committee Monday he had to abstain from a pipeline-related vote because his family farmland in Montgomery County may be on the route of the 300-mile interstate pipeline proposed by EQT Corp. and NextEra Energy.

The bill heard Monday sought to prevent interstate pipeline companies from doing surveying and other preliminary work on private property without the owner’s consent.

Current Virginia law allows the companies to proceed over an owner’s objections provided certain steps and notice requirements are followed. Continue reading State Lawmaker’s Property May Be on Mountain Valley Pipeline Route

Pipeline Bills Force Lawmakers to Side Against Cherished Property Rights

Three bills related to the controversy surrounding allowing Dominion Transmission access to land without owners’ consent to survey for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Virginia died in the Senate yesterday. Pipeline opponents were disappointed with the result but not discouraged. On their Facebook pages, two local groups voiced their reactions:

Friends of Nelson: “…folks, please know, while yesterday’s result was disappointing, it was not surprising, nor in any way a defeat. Power loosens its grip slowly, only with a lot of arm twisting. I thank everyone deeply for their time and efforts yesterday. We twisted; the grip IS loosening.”

Friends of Augusta: “So disappointed… It was a 12 hour day for some of us so resting up now because the fight continues! We saw first hand today how important numbers are so please keep calling and writing. It matters! We just have to keep resisting this damn pipeline and they will have no option but to listen to us! Thanks for your continued support Friends!”

Pipeline bills fail in committee

Continue reading Pipeline Bills Force Lawmakers to Side Against Cherished Property Rights

Nelson County Residents Ask Judge to Keep Dominion Off Their Property

The 550-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline would run from West Virginia to North Carolina. Its proposed route includes about 35 miles of Nelson County.
The 550-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline would run from West Virginia to North Carolina. Its proposed route includes about 35 miles of Nelson County.

By Rachael Smith, News & Advance

The fate of a lawsuit filed by five Nelson County residents against Dominion Transmission remains unknown after a Thursday morning hearing in U.S. District Court in Harrisonburg.

The lawsuit, filed in September, asks the court to declare unconstitutional a Virginia statute relevant to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Section 56-49.01 of the Virginia Code allows natural gas companies to survey private property as long as previous notification has been served.

Dominion asked the court in November to dismiss the suit, and that request is what Thursday’s arguments focused on.

On one side of the court room sat mostly Dominion representatives scattered in the pews, on the opposite side sat Nelson County residents who filled every inch of the section. Continue reading Nelson County Residents Ask Judge to Keep Dominion Off Their Property

Open Records Push for Projects Like Atlantic Coast Pipeline Dies in House

By Alicia Petska, Lynchburg News Advance

RICHMOND – The push to open up records on projects like the Atlantic Coast Pipeline died in the House of Delegates on Thursday.

House Bill 1696 was killed in committee on a near-unanimous voice vote. The bill, introduced by Del. Dickie Bell, would have made public utilities subject to sunshine laws on projects where the company is allowed to exercise eminent domain.

“Eminent domain is a powerful tool, I’m sure everybody in the room knows that,” Bell, R-Staunton, said during a hearing before the House Commerce and Labor Committee.

“We have an opportunity to make government and public utilities a little more accountable to the people, and I think that’s a good thing.” Continue reading Open Records Push for Projects Like Atlantic Coast Pipeline Dies in House