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Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC, has proposed the construction of MVP Southgate, a natural gas pipeline that will run about 72 miles from southern Virginia into North Carolina. The Mountain Valley Mainline will move natural gas from Marcellus and Utica shale production areas to various markets in the South and Mid-Atlantic markets. The MVP Southgate will connect to the mainline and move natural gas to delivery points in Rockingham and Alamance Counties in North Carolina.
As proposed, the pipeline will be two feet in diameter and require a permanent easement from landowners to allow the company to service it. In addition, the pipeline will require as much as 100 feet of easements during the construction phase.
Eminent domain allows the government (or a party authorized by the government, such as a utility company) to take privately owned land, so long as it is for a public purpose. The party taking the land, however, must provide the landowner with just compensation for the property.
Here, Mountain Valley Pipeline is seeking easements from landowners, which is a type of “partial taking” that allows the company access to the property of for a limited time or purpose.
Landowners are legally entitled to compensation for partial takings, but don’t expect MVP to make a reasonable offer from the start. In most cases, parties seeking land for a project that involves eminent domain make unreasonably low initial offers hoping that landowners simply accept them without exploring their rights. This, coupled with reports of land agents representing the company trying to intimidate or strong-arm landowners into assenting to their requests, makes retaining an attorney as soon as possible imperative for anyone whom MVP Southgate may affect.
Eminent domain law is a complicated matter, and landowners facing condemnation (the legal term for the exercise of eminent domain) need to know that they are up against extremely sophisticated parties who are aggressively trying to get as much as they can for as little money as possible.
Fortunately, an attorney who practices eminent domain law can protect your legal rights.
Here are some of the specific things our lawyers can do for you if someone has reached out about a forced sale of your property:
If you suspect that the MVP Southgate project or any other project may employ eminent domain to take your property, speak to a lawyer as soon as you can. At Sever Storey, we have represented the rights of landowners for more than 25 years. We work hard to ensure that each client we represent obtains just compensation for any land that is subject to eminent domain.
To schedule a free case evaluation with an eminent domain attorney in North Carolina, call our office today at (888) 318-3761 or contact us online.
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