Although a horizontal drilling ban is in effect in New York State, shipments of natural gas across New York by pipeline have not been banned. In fact, New York is laced with pipelines transporting natural gas from across the state, as well as from Pennsylvania, Ohio and even Ontario, Canada.
The number of natural gas pipelines across New York is about to grow. National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation and Empire Pipeline, Inc., both owned by National Fuel Gas Company, plan to construct a new 24-inch high pressure pipeline running from Sergeant Township, Mckean County, Pennsylvania, where various hydrofracking supply pipelines meet, to the Porterville Compression Station in the Town of Elma, Erie County, New York.
This new pipeline will affect over a hundred landowners. Because this pipeline comes under FERC jurisdiction, the natural gas companies have a statutory right under Section 7H of the Natural Gas Act to use eminent domain to acquire a right-of-way or easement on a landowner’s property for facilities to transport gas. Eminent domain, which is also called condemnation, is governed by New York State statutory law. The gas company must compensate the landowner for the economic value of the easement rights claimed for the pipeline. If a negotiated price cannot be reached between the landowner and the natural gas company, the natural gas company can bring the eminent domain procedure to force the landowner to give up its rights to the easement area.
Landowners affected by this pipeline should be represented by qualified and experienced counsel. An attorney can guide the landowner through the negotiation process, and work to prevent unnecessary delays through the court system. Know your rights!