According to News 12 New Jersey, a group of Mercer County homeowners opposed to the PennEast Pipeline is calling upon a state regulatory agency to stop the project from coming through their land. This move comes after a federal judge granted the PennEast Pipeline Company the right to take private land through eminent domain.
As proposed, the PennEast Pipeline would consist of a 120-mile, 36-inch natural gas pipeline that would run from Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, to Mercer County, New Jersey.
An attorney for the homeowners indicates that a favorable decision from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Regulation may offer their best chance of stopping the project. According to the group’s lawyer, “We are hoping that at the end of the process and after the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection gives a thorough review, that they will not grant the water quality certification so the pipeline will not be built.”
To many people, the idea of eminent domain seems contrary to everything they have ever learned about private property. Nevertheless, the United States Constitution and various state laws allow governments and private parties that have government authorization to take private property, so long as the taking is for a public purpose and they provide landowners with just compensation. In addition, courts have interpreted the definition of public purpose so broadly that they uphold the vast majority of eminent domain actions. As a result, in most cases, the only realistic course of action is for landowners to do everything they can to get as much money for their property as possible.
Because of the difficulties in challenging an eminent domain action directly, the homeowners here have chosen to attack the project from a different angle, asking a state regulatory agency to stop the project due to its potential to damage water quality.
Landowners should retain an attorney even in cases that lack a realistic way to stop the taking of property by eminent domain. The assistance of a lawyer can have a significant impact on the amount of compensation you receive for your property—and you only have one chance to get the just compensation you deserve. Best of all, because Sever Storey only collects legal fees on the amount that you get that exceeds your initial offer, you can only get more money by retaining one of our lawyers, never less.
If you are a landowner who believes a public project may attempt to take your property, consult an experienced eminent domain lawyer as soon as you can. At Sever Storey, we have more than 25 years of combined experience representing the rights of landowners and know how to get our clients the just compensation to which they are entitled under the law. To schedule a free consultation with a lawyer, call our office today at (888) 318-3761 or contact us online.
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Before going alone against the State let us give you our opinion. It is our pledge that we will provide a free case review for any individual or business facing eminent domain or condemnation. Contact us now at 888-318-3761