What is the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline Project?

The Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline project is a proposed natural gas pipeline that, if approved, will run from Malin, Oregon to Coos Bay. The 36-inch diameter pipeline will transport natural gas from interconnects near Malin to the Jordan Cove LNG terminal, where it will be liquefied in order to transport it to international markets. According to the company, the pipeline will be transport 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas each day.

How will I know if I will be affected?

Landowners that may be affected by the proposed pipeline will receive an informational packet from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission1 (FERC) and Williams, the company that has proposed the project, explaining that their property may be affected. This material will also advise landowners as to dates and locations of public meetings and ways they can obtain additional information about the project. In addition, landowners will receive written correspondence or be personally contacted by a Williams representative regarding any surveys that may take place on their property.

Does Williams have a legal right to use my land?

Williams is seeking to obtain permanent easements2 from landowners that will be affected by the project. An easement is a right to use or enter onto land for a limited purpose – in the context of a natural gas pipeline, it may involve the installation of an underground pipeline, access to the land in order to service the pipeline, and the installation of above-ground equipment related to the pipeline, as well as for other related uses.

Williams is seeking to obtain these easements from private landowners voluntarily and will compensate land owners for them. Landowners do have the right to refuse Williams’ offers, but the company will likely resort to invoking the government’s power of eminent domain if they do. Eminent domain refers to the government’s power to take a landowner’s property for a public purpose, so long the landowner receives just compensation for his or her land. Courts generally view natural resource extraction and transportation as a public use even when it is conducted by a private party. In addition, even though your land is not being “taken,” the imposition of an easement usually constitutes a compensable taking.

How much compensation will I receive?

By law, Williams is required to compensate landowners for the value of land taken by Williams and any residue damages (loss in value to property as a whole). The compensation a landowner will receive is determined by a variety of factors including the fair market value of the property, the way it is zoned, the size of the land that will be affected, and the use of the land.

Do landowners that may be affected by the proposed pipeline need to retain an attorney?

It is highly advisable for individuals who may be affected to retain an attorney familiar with eminent domain law and the valuation of private property. By doing so, landowners can ensure that they receive the full and fair value of the land that is affected by the project.

Contact a Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline lawyer today to ensure that your legal rights are protected

Landowners who believe that they will be affected by the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline Project should talk to an attorney as soon as possible. The lawyers of Sever Storey, LLP are experienced and skilled eminent domain lawyers who understand how to get their clients the full and fair value of any land that is taken for a public purpose. To schedule a free case evaluation with one of our lawyers, call our office today at 888-318-3761.

1 http://www.ferc.gov/
2 https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/easement