Concerned landowners gathered in the Wauseon High School Audtitorium April 16 to learn more about the in’s and out’s of two underground pipeline projects planned to begin construction as early as Novmeber 2016.
Craig Wilson, an attorney with Emens and Wolper Law Firm out of Columbus, OH explained that two major pipelines are planned to cross through Fulton County. He said that 86% of the surveying has already been completed for the NEXUS pipeline, which is a $2 billion Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) project. This pipeline will be a 42 inch diameter pipe that will transport gas. Construction on this project is slated to begin in February 2017 with completion by November 2017.
Wilson said that second pipeline project is the Kinder Morgan Utopia pipeline has not yet begun. Utopia is a $500 million state project that consists of one or two 12 inch diameter pipes, which will transport liquid ethane and ethane-propane mixtures. However, he said that his project has a more aggressive timeline with construction to begin in November 2016 and target completion date of January 2018. Surveying for Utopia is scheduled to being in May 2015.
The pipeline companies do not need permission to survey land per state law, but do have to give landowners 48-hours prior notice. He said that the land agent for the company will ask landowners to sign a survey permission first and then later a pipeline easement. Wilson explained that landowners should not sign the standard agreements presented by the land agent as “there’s no such thing as a standard agreement. Each piece of property is unique.” He said the worst place to sign the agreement is “on the hood of your car.”
During Wilson’s educational presentation he cautioned landowners to think about other concerns other than compensation such as drainage tile repair plans, permanent or temporary access roads, depth of the pipe, pipeline abandonment clauses, site specific map (not a blanket easement), location of compressors, valves and meters, use of land after the pipeline is installed (ability to farm over it or install drainage tile over it), damages and liability insurance.
Landowners can raise their concerns with the projects at scoping meetings (being scheduled now) and through the project websites (www.nexusgastransmission.com/ and www.kindermorgan.com).
Wilson said that his law firm will work with landowners to get the best possible easement agreement for their property. He said that they visit the property and meet with landowners at least two times. The law firm works on contingency and will be 25% of the settlement amount that exceeds the written offer from the pipeline company. For more information contact Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shar may be reached at
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