Ethane Pipeline Company Sues Farmer to Gain Access to Land

Enterprise Products Partners 1,230 mile ethane pipeline from Pennsylvania to the Gulf Coast, called the ATEX Express (Appalachia to Texas), has hit a snag in Ohio and is suing a farmer who refuses to let them on the property for survey work.

The proposed ATEX Express pipeline includes building 353 miles of new pipeline through Ohio. They’re on a schedule, and they don’t want delays. So when Nancy and David Hyde asked Enterprise to find a different route other than go through David’s best hay field, Enterprise said “no” and is suing them to allow them on the property. As with most lawsuits, this one is complicated.

The proposed pipeline will use part of existing pipeline corridors already in place, the lawsuit states.

The company claims in its lawsuit that, as a pipeline company, it has eminent domain powers under Ohio law.

The lawsuit states the company has successfully sued five times in Ohio for survey access in Warren and Butler counties.

David Hyde said Friday that the farm was set up as an agricultural district. He said pipeline companies have to find alternate routes to cross agricultural districts.

He said ELP could use an existing pipeline corridor near the Unionport Cemetery, but the company claims it is too close to the cemetery. He said he also owns property on the existing pipeline corridor and gave permission for the company to use that property.

ELP now is rerouting the proposed pipeline that will be located about 500 feet from his mother’s house.

ELP said in its lawsuit that it has tried for months to secure the permission of the defendant to enter the property for survey work.*

MDN’s perhaps naïve view: Enterprise should suck it up and find a different route and leave this farmer alone.

*Weirton (WV) Daily Times (May 5, 2012) – Pipeline injunction is filed