UTOPIA Pipeline Still Battling OH Landowners with Eminent Domain

UTOPIA Pipeline Project map
UTOPIA Pipeline Project map – click for larger version

Kinder Morgan’s UTOPIA (Utica To Ontario Pipeline Access) pipeline is a 12-inch ethane pipeline that will run 240 miles and will only be built in Ohio–therefore the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) won’t be involved in permitting the project. In April we asked the question, Why is UTOPIA Pipeline Less “Controversial” than NEXUS in Ohio?. Perhaps that question was premature, because not long after we ran a story that Kinder Morgan was suing holdout landowners using eminent domain to allow the pipeline (see UTOPIA Pipeline Sues Holdout OH Landowners Using Eminent Domain). The real eye-popper was reading just how much Kinder Morgan was offering for easements to property owners. Of course what a landowner is offered depends on how many feet of land the pipeline will cross. Some landowners were offered up to $63,300 for an easement. In some cases, the offers were “more than 10 times the appraised value of the easement.” It’s certainly in a landowner’s best interest to settle before being forced to settle (for far less) via eminent domain. So how is the process going? The lawyer for one group of landowners says KM’s offers are low, not high. Here’s an update on the legal battles in the Buckeye State over UTOPIA…

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