PennEast currently does not have any rights in regards to your property. Eminent domain, that is the power to take property, will only apply when and if it gets federal approval. Knowing the facts about eminent domain is key and will help you in deciding what is right for you.
Proposed Easement Agreements
If you sign an easement, it’s Even if the pipeline does not get built. LOOK OUT for clauses such as the following:
- Right to survey or access your land at any time.
- Rights to add more pipeline and related facilities on your land without your consent or further compensation.
- “Hold harmless” clauses that eliminate your ability to sue if accidents
- The final route may shift on you land.
- Pipeline companies can sell the easement to a third parties without your knowledge or there may be impacts on your mortgage if you sign an easement.
- You continue to pay taxes on your property including the easement.
Eminent Domain Proceedings
- Compensation is determined by a court You can choose to do nothing and the court will award you damages at their discretion using information PennEast has provided; you can go to court on your own behalf and argue for damages; or you can hire an attorney to argue for damages.
- Some people get better deals in eminent domain than what they were offered during the bona fide negotiation process, other do not.
- The Eminent domain agreements can be more restrictive than negotiated.
- Only the natural gas pipelines that receive a FERC certificate can be installed through the eminent domain process.
- If PennEast damages your property during construction it must compensate you.
- Government is generally reluctant to impose eminent domain on large numbers of land owners.
Special Cases and Considerations
- NJ SADC conserved land. If your land was preserved by the SADC eminent domain is the only route by which the landowner can convey and easement to PennEast.
- Pipeline companies are obligated to try to avoid damaging property and possessions, but not required.
- Abutters are not directly involved in easement agreements or eminent domain. However, abutters have rights and can protest to the Pipeline Company and federal government, but they will not be involved in any proposed easements or eminent domain proceedings.
- There are some other special categories which are treated differently. Those targeted for pipe yards, compressor stations, and other facilities may have additional burdens and issues to face.
This does not constitute legal advice nor does it create any attorney client privilege