Federal Judge allows Mountain Valley Pipeline to Seize Private Property
Nearly 300 landowners rejected the Mountain Valley Pipeline’s offers to purchase easements. However, a U.S. District Court Judge Elizabeth Dillon granted the company authority to take immediate possession of the private property on March 2, 2018.
Back in January, Dillon ruled that Mountain Valley had the power to use eminent domain but plans to seize the needed property were put on hold until now.
Despite property owner’s objections, work on their land could begin shortly, if Mountain Valley Pipeline posts a bond and makes deposits to ensure that property owners will be compensated for their losses.
The federal judge's approval comes at a time when preliminary construction of the 303-mile pipeline has already begun.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted Mountain Valley to start work on sections of the pipeline not wrapped up in the eminent domain case. Tree cutting is anticipated to commence this week in Roanoke County.
Pipeline challengers are determined not to give up and continue to protest. While much of the opposition to the pipeline has focused on the environmental threat, the issue of property rights has dominated the proceedings in Dillon’s court.
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