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Landowners upset over prospect of eminent domain for proposed pipeline project

| May 19, 2015 | Land Use & Zoning |

Readers may have heard that energy company Kinder Morgan has been pushing to lay down 260 miles of pipeline along the Savannah River and to the coast. The pipeline would apparently break off from a larger pipeline that brings gas to the Northeast from Gulf Coast refineries, and the gas to be transported through the pipeline would mostly be for domestic use.

In order to push the project forward, Kinder Morgan plans to seek out the ability to exercise eminent domain, though the extent to which the company would do so is likely to be minimal. Still, the prospect of a private company forcing land owners to give up their property has turned out to be controversial. In addition, there are concerns about the potential environmental impact of laying down a pipeline.

No doubt, a lot of legwork has to be done to get a pipeline project off the ground. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is responsible for regulating interstate gas pipeline operations, including the coordination of environmental and land use permitting and determining the convenience and necessity of a pipeline proposal. The agency is also empowered to determine the route pipelines take. For this reason, companies looking to build pipelines need to work in cooperation with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, as well as the other government bodies regulating various aspects of the process.   

Working with an experienced advocate who is familiar with how to navigate the process and how to deal with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is indispensible for energy companies looking to move forward with projects. Dong so ensures that the company’s interests will be zealously and strategically represented. 

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