• 57°

She calls the process ‘frustrating’

Editor:

The approval process for pipelines is confusing and frustrating for most landowners. If you are approached, be sure your best interests are protected. Even landowners who support the pipeline and sincerely want to help its progress need to ensure that their best interests are protected by an easement. 

Consult others, especially an attorney with eminent domain experience. Community organizations, like Friends of Buckingham (www.friendsofbuckinghamva.org), can help landowners find an affordable attorney who has the needed experience. 

They will not try to pressure you to take any specific action but will help you find the best solution for your situation.

Although land agents may tell you that they have an immediate deadline, it is not one set by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) or any other government agency. Landowners who have been through this before report that it is worthwhile to wait until after the FERC certificate is issued to take action on an easement.

No matter how friendly the land agent appears to be, remember that he or she is employed to get your acceptance of an easement with as much to benefit the pipeline developer as possible. Land agents have no legal obligation to protect landowner interests. Easements will affect all future owners of that land, so acceptance is a decision that has long- term consequences. Don’t do this alone and remember, you do not have to consider an easement until after FERC grants the pipeline a certificate!

Chad Oba

Buckingham