Landowner Issues

» Eminent Domain May Be Good for You!
By Dory Hippauf, Anti-Fracking Activist – news
Keystone XL: Lawsuit halts TransCanada land acquisitions
By Joe Duggan
February 13, 2015
Victory for Landowners as Court Grants Injunction Halting Eminent Domain by TransCanada

By Mark Hefflinger
February 13, 2015

Landowner rights vs. public need in battle over pipeline route

Sunday, November 9, 2014
By Duncan Adams,

The dominant message, repeating like a song chorus, communicated this advice: Don’t sign anything without consulting a lawyer.

The speaker was longtime environmental lawyer, Joe Lovett, executive director of Appalachian Mountain Advocates. The setting was a church in Blacksburg, where a crowd of more than 225 people assembled Oct. 28 to talk about how to hamstring a mutual foe — Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC.

The company, a joint venture of EQT Corp. and NextEra Energy, wants to build a 300-mile long, 42-inch diameter transmission pipeline to transport natural gas from West Virginia through Virginia to another transmission pipeline in Pittsylvania County.

A Virginia law passed during the 2004 session of the General Assembly allows natural gas companies to access private property, without the owner’s permission, to examine and survey the property for a possible interstate pipeline route.

That holds true if the company or its subcontractor has followed the notification process outlined by the law. Those steps include a request for permission to access the property sent to the owner by certified mail “not less than 15 days prior to the date of the proposed inspection.”

Read more …

This recent article in the Lowell Sun addressed the issue of insurance and property values for pipeline-affected properties. It should be noted that the firms chiming in are not in an area that has dealt with the pipeline issues before.  Only the state-wide Massachusetts Division of Insurance has seen direct results for properties with pipelines on them, and even they suggest that any homeowner should check with their insurance provider, which implies that there are no “one statement fits all” situations. Readers who may be affected are encouraged to carefully review the details of their coverage with their insurance provider.  Doing the same with your mortgage provider and realtor are also a good idea.

Thank you to the Lowell Sun for the most thorough local look at this issue we’ve seen yet.

Firm: Insurance rates won’t change if pipeline plan is approved, but property values will

By Kelly Carrion,

Jayda Leder-Luis, spokesman for the Massachusetts Division of Insurance, said the office has not heard any concerns or complaints from residents or insurance companies but she advises homeowners to contact their insurance companies for more information.

But the value of properties the pipeline runs through will likely decrease.

“This pipeline isn’t a done deal and it’s just in the early stages, but I have properties that are deemed unmarketable because of the potential of the pipeline,” said Roger Goscombe, broker-owner of Century 21 Nashoba.


Read this before you sign that pipeline easement lease

Friday, April 26, 2013 by

The continued Utica and Marcellus shale development in the oil and gas industry has now brought about the construction of pipelines to move the product to processing facilities. Many landowners in the Utica play have or will be approached with a request to obtain an easement on property for the construction of pipelines.

The easement typically limits in part or entirely the landowner’s rights on the easement property.

Easements can also be temporary or perpetual. This is an important distinction for tax planning purposes. If the easement is temporary the income received is treated as ordinary income. If, on the other hand, the easement is perpetual the income is taxed as capital gains income.

Standard agreement
Often a landowner will be approached by a company asking for an easement to install a pipeline across their property and will be presented with a “standard” easement agreement.

Read more:

» See NH Pipeline Awareness’ excellent introduction to advice for Affected Property Owners