Wood County, OH Judge Blocks Eminent Domain for UTOPIA Pipeline

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

On Tuesday MDN brought you the news that Kinder Morgan is scheduled to begin construction next month on their UTOPIA (Utica To Ontario Pipeline Access) pipeline, a 12-inch ethane pipeline that will run ~240 miles across the state of Ohio (see UTOPIA Pipeline Construction Begins, OSU to Study Hole-Digging). Although Kinder has struck deals with most landowners along the route, some are still resisting, which requires (in rare cases) filing an eminent domain case against them. When such cases have been challenged, Kinder has usually won. But they’ve just lost such a case in Wood County, where a county judge says Kinder Morgan can’t use eminent domain in his county with respect to UTOPIA. Is this a big, hairy deal for KM and the project? A slight delay? Or something in between?…

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