Bill Allowing Surveyors Private Property Access Fails in WV Senate

In June 2014 EQT and NextEra US Gas Assets formed a joint venture to build a 330-mile pipeline from Wetzel County, WV to the Transco Pipeline in Pittsylvania County, VA to deliver abundant, cheap Marcellus and Utica Shale gas to markets throughout the southeast (see EQT Announces New Marcellus/Utica Pipeline to Southeastern US). The project is called Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). A number of West Virginia landowners objected to MVP and would not let surveyors on their property, so MVP (i.e. EQT and NextEra) threatened to sue the landowners claiming eminent domain laws to enter their properties (see WV Landowners Say They’re Bullied by Mountain Valley Pipeline). A month later they did sue (see Mountain Valley Pipeline Sues 103 WV Landowners for Survey Access). But it takes a long time to sue individual landowners in hundreds of cases. So somebody talked to somebody and a bill was introduced in the WV Senate this year, Senate Bill (SB) 596–which would allow surveyors to enter private properties to do survey work as long as a notice was sent by certified mail ahead of time. No doubt the bill was in response to the ongoing, thorny issue of surveying for MVP. The bill passed out of committee with a split vote. But the bill was voted down by the full Senate…

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