MAY REPORT TO CARBON COUNTY STAKEHOLDERS
By SAVE CARBON COUNTY
PennEast/UGI Pipeline Project- Prepared 5/27/21
I’ve heard the following comment more than once: “What’s the big deal? The pipeline will be underground. You’ll never know it is there and the pipeline company will pay you!” So why are we so opposed to this pipeline? As a pipeline-impacted landowner, my property has been damaged by the threat of PennEast for seven years. My property has been devalued even though it is very likely that PennEast will never be built. When the pipeline company gets around to taking my land through Eminent Domain, it will use the “Quick Take” process which means that it will take procession of my land and pay me for it at a future date. The experience of other landowners with other pipelines has shown that compensation can paid years after the “taking.”
Knowing that they are backed by Eminent Domain powers, the pipeline company has not bargained fairly with landowners. PennEast has assessed the value of my land using a “drive-by” survey and landowners were not provided with comparables or other data to show how the values were set. The value offered for my land and for most parcels has not changed more than 10% since 2014 even though land values have skyrocketed in this area. Nor am I aware of any instance in which the pipeline company has agreed to move or compromise on the location of the pipeline to accommodate a landowner in any way.
The pipeline company has been allowed to hide important information from the public under the rubric of “national security concerns.” For example, plume maps showing the reach of pollution from the proposed Kidder compressor station were not made public. Residents have no idea if their property will be impacted by tons of annual pollution. FERC does nothing to aid impacted landowners and landowners whose property abuts pipeline-impacted property. In many instances “abutting” properties are still unaware of the pipeline’s proximity but their land values can be affected. Maps issued by the company do not show property parcels or parcel numbers making it impossible for nearby property owners to know of the impact of the pipeline on their property.
So yes. It is a big deal.
Save Carbon County is a member of a regional and two-state effort to stop the PennEast/UGI pipeline. Local information can be found on FaceBook at “Stop the Fracking Pipeline.” Regional Information can be found on FaceBook at “Stop PennEast Pipeline.”