Saturday, April 17, 2010
Eminent Domain An Issue In Siting PA Gas Lines
Do pipeline companies have the power of eminent domain in Pennsylvania? This allows them to put pipelines in wherever they wish even over the objection of property owners. An article (link below) in the Philadelphia Inquirer suggests that the answer to this question is YES. There are six pipeline companies registered in PA as utilities, giving them the right to take easements by eminent domain- at a fair-market rate.
There will be a hearing on Thursday, April 22, in Harrisburg to review the Public Utility Commission's regulatory oversight of pipelines and to decide whether or not the rules need to be revised in light of the gas boom now in progress and growing ever larger as the weeks go by. The PUC regulates smaller, in-state "midstream" pipelines that are declared as utilities, or common carriers.
Eminent domain has become a big problem in Texas where the Barnett Shale is located. In January, Laser Marcellus Gathering Co. LLC of Houston applied to build a 30-mile pipeline to connect wells in Susquehanna County to the Millenium Pipeline in Broome County, NY.
Pipelines will become an ever-worsening problem wherever gas drilling is in operation. Pipelines are dangerous and problemmatic, especially the maintenance of them as the years go by and the hidden inner corrosion which can go undetected.
Read the whole article here.