Federal Lawsuit Challenges Eminent Domain for Pipelines

15 September 2017
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Virginia and West Virginia landowners have challenged the authority of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to allow a private company to seize property through eminent domain to build the 303-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline.

In a lawsuit filed in district court, the property owners allege that allowing the Mountain Valley Pipeline to appropriate private property using the power of eminent domain is unconstitutional.

The landowners’ chief argument is that the FERC is violating constitutional law and the property rights of private citizens. Landowners question the constitutionality of the delegation of eminent domain power to a private, for-profit company.  Landowners argue that the construction of this pipeline provides no public benefit as many are forced to hand over private property that has cultural, historic, individual, or ecological value. The property owners believe the use of eminent domain is excessively broad and does not align with the public’s best interest.

It was also noted that the pipeline raises environmental concerns and impacted landowners may find themselves in the blast zone. Many residents fear incidents involving leaks, explosions, and contaminated waterways.

This case highlights the struggle of property owners defending their property rights against major corporations and sheds light on the controversial issue that affects thousands across the nation.

The outcome may be significant.  If the landowners win the declaratory and injunctive relief sought in the lawsuit, tougher standards relating to the use of eminent domain upon property owners by private corporations will be established.

For more information, visit http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/41477-virginia-lawsuit-challenges-eminent-domain-for-oil-pipelines

Every day pipeline companies invoke the power of eminent domain to acquire private property. Pipelines can alter the way of life for many agriculture, residential, and commercial property owners. Could your property be affected in the near future? Click the link and find out today with Impact Check.

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