Contractor Sues Risberg PA-to-OH Pipeline for Nonpayment $35M

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In March 2019 MDN brought you the news that Wood Group had been awarded a $34 million contract to build 28 miles of the 60-mile Risberg Pipeline from Crawford County, PA to Ashtabula County, OH (see Wood Wins $34M Contract to Build PA to OH Risberg Pipeline). The portion Wood built was new “greenfield” pipeline. The rest of the pipeline (32 miles) already existed and was repurposed.
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Sierra Club Loses Court Case to Block Drill Cuttings in NY Landfill

In February MDN told you about an effort by the radicalized Sierra Club to block a New York landfill from accepting drill cuttings from the Pennsylvania Marcellus (see Antis Fabricate Data in Attempt to Block NY Landfill Expansion). The Clubbers fabricated (made up, lied about) data, trying to use this new made-up data in a court case aimed at stopping the C&D Hakes Landfill in Painted Post, NY (near Elmira, located in Steuben County) from accepting PA drill cuttings. The judge has just ruled in the case–against the Clubbers.
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Third Lawsuit Filed Against Enbridge for KY TETCO Pipe Explosion

On August 1, 2019, Enbridge’s Texas Eastern Pipeline Company (TETCO) pipeline exploded in Lincoln County, Kentucky–killing one and sending six to the hospital (see TETCO Pipe Explodes in Kentucky Killing 1; Southbound M-U Gas Stops). In September we reported that at least two lawsuits had been filed against Enbridge and TETCO–one for wrongful death, the other by a couple severely injured and burned following the incident (see Two Lawsuits Filed Against Enbridge for KY TETCO Pipe Explosion). A third lawsuit, on behalf of 80 people “affected by the blast,” has just been filed by a personal injury lawyer now a year after the accident.
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Wealthy Va. Landowners Consider Next Moves Post-ACP Cancellation

Earlier this month Dominion Energy announced it is throwing in the towel and canceling the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project that would have stretched from West Virginia to North Carolina. The company also announced it is selling its pipeline business to Warren Buffett (see Dominion Cancels Atlantic Coast Pipe, Sells Pipe Biz for $9.7B). Uppity, wealthy Virginia landowners who didn’t want the pipeline buried under their horse pastures are still celebrating. Now that the hangovers have mostly cleared up, the uppity landowners are asking questions about what comes next. Can they sue Dominion to recoup legal costs in fighting the project? Can the legally-obtained easements against their properties for ACP be sold to someone else who wants to build a different pipeline?
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Another Outrage: PA AG Charges NFG with Crimes for Pipe Accident

This absolutely must stop. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is completely out of control and abusing his power as AG. He has charged a third Marcellus/Utica company, National Fuel Gas Company, with crimes because of a few minor cases of erosion runoff during the installation of a pipeline in Washington County, PA. Since when is erosion a CRIME?
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Some OH Lawsuits Against Long-Finished NEXUS Pipe Still Active

NEXUS Pipeline, a $2.6 billion, 255-mile interstate pipeline that runs from Ohio into Michigan, has been fully online since October 2018 (see More of NEXUS Pipe Goes Online, FERC Approves Compressor). In typical fashion, Big Green groups and landowners (some of them backed with Big Green money) tried to shut the pipeline down via lawsuits, but ultimately could not (see our NEXUS lawsuit stories here). Some landowners claimed the pipeline damaged their property during construction. Most of those lawsuits were either tossed or settled. However, there are still a few outstanding landowner lawsuits against NEXUS still active.
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Riverkeeper Lawsuit Challenges Trump Changes to Water Permits

In April 2019, President Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) instructing the Environmental Protection Agency to review Section 401 of the Clean Water Act–the section that grants states (and tribes) the right to have a say in pipeline projects (see Trump Signs Executive Order Making it Harder to Block Pipe). In keeping with the EO, the EPA issued a draft new rule in August 2019 tightening up standards used in Section 401, creating new boundaries so states like New York and Washington can’t continue to “color outside the lines” by rejecting pipelines for political reasons, as they have both done (see EPA Issues Proposed New Rule for Section 401 Water Permit). A final version of the new rule was released on June 1 (see EPA Issues Final Rule to Prevent States from Blocking Pipelines). On Monday, extreme leftist group THE Delaware Riverkeeper filed a lawsuit challenging the new rule.
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Federal Judge Overrules NY Town to Allow NFG Compressor Station

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National Fuel Gas Company’s (NFG) $500 million Northern Access Pipeline project aims to build 97 miles of new pipeline along a power line corridor from northwestern Pennsylvania up to Erie County, NY to flow PA Marcellus fracked shale gas into the Empire State. The project also calls for 3 miles of new pipeline and a compressor station in Niagara County, NY. The Town of Pendleton, where the compressor station will be located, has refused to issue a permit for the station. Yesterday a federal judge overruled the town and said NFG can move forward with construction of the compressor station when it’s ready to do so.
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Revisiting the PA AG Royalty Case Against Chesapeake Energy

It’s time to revisit a long-festering royalty lawsuit against Chesapeake Energy and Anadarko Petroleum filed by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office. The case has been through several layers of courts and finally ended up at the PA Supreme Court last fall (see PA Supremes to Consider Long-Running Chesapeake Royalty Lawsuit). The lawsuit hinges on the answer to this question: Are landowners/royalty owners the buyers or the sellers in cases of royalty leases?
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What is “Due Diligence” in Severed Mineral Rights Cases in Ohio?

How much of an effort is “enough” when a surface landowner in Ohio tries to locate the owner(s) of the belowground mineral rights under his or her land using the Dormant Mineral Act (DMA)? Is it enough to search the public record archive in the county where the land is located? The Ohio Supreme Court recently ruled in a case to say no, it’s not enough to run a quick search in one county when attempting to locate mineral rights owners.
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OH Landowners Sue Rice, Ascent, XTO, Gulfport for Drilling Too Deep

Do you remember the child’s game called “Simon Says”? That’s what we were thinking when we read about a lawsuit in Ohio by landowners against a group of shale drillers. The lawsuit, initiated by several landowners in Belmont County, OH, claims the drillers drilled too deep–into the Point Pleasant rock layer–when the leases signed only mention the Utica rock layer. The lawsuit, which is seeking class action status, claims “unjust enrichment” by the drillers.
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Weymouth Compressor Continues Construction Despite Judge’s Ruling

Weymouth compressor station construction (credit: Patriot Ledger)

The Weymouth compressor station is the last piece of Spectra Energy/Enbridge’s Atlantic Bridge pipeline project–a project which took years to build. In July 2019 the Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) granted an air permit for the final piece, the Weymouth compressor station (see Mass. DEP Issues Air Permit for Weymouth Compressor Station). Last month (a full year later!), Obama Judge William Kayatta from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit overturned the state permit, telling the DEP to do it all over again (see Obama Judge Overturns Air Permit for Weymouth, MA Compressor Stn). We’re delighted to see the judge’s ruling has not stopped construction on the project.
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Northeast Natural Energy Settles $7.9M Lawsuit with PA Landowners

Last November MDN told you that Northeast Natural Energy, a small-to-midsized driller headquartered in Morgantown, WV, had lost an arbitration battle and owed a group of landowners in central Pennsylvania $7.9 million in payments for NOT drilling on their land (see Fed Judge: Northeast Natural Energy Owes $7.9M to PA Landowners). NNE continued to fight the arbitrated settlement–until Monday. Apparently both sides have agreed on a new settlement.
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Supreme Court Restores Nationwide 12 Permits for MVP, Other Pipes

In May a Montana federal judge appointed by Barack Obama capriciously blocked the use of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nationwide Permit (NP) 12 for all pipeline projects across the country (see Obama Judge Blocks New Pipe Projects that Use NP12 Permit). In June the Trump administration asked the U.S. Supreme Court to lift the judge’s ban (see Trump Administration Asks Supreme Court to Lift NP12 Permit Ban). Late yesterday the Supremes did just that–lifted the ban. NP12 can now be used for pipeline projects other than the Keystone XL project.
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Obama Judge Orders DAPL Operating Pipeline to Shut Down

We’ve had enough of activist leftist judges attempting to shut down the will of the people by using obscure legal loopholes as their justification–when the real reason for the action is to block President Trump and fossil fuels. A U.S. District Court judge appointed by Barack Hussein Obama, Judge James Boasberg (D.C. Circuit) has ordered the Dakota Access oil pipeline in the Midwest to stop flowing oil because he doesn’t like it.
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Chesapeake Bankruptcy Puts PA Landowner Royalty Lawsuits on Hold

On Sunday a week ago (June 28) Chesapeake Energy filed for bankruptcy (see Chesapeake Files for Bankruptcy – Debtors to Take Ownership). As part of the filing, the company asked the bankruptcy court to allow it to break existing, legal, enforceable contracts with pipeline companies (see Chesapeake Asks Court to Break Pipeline Contracts, Including M-U). We’re just now learning the company’s filing also puts on hold lawsuits brought by landowners against it over Chessy’s royalty shenanigans. The cases on hold include a case brought by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office argued before the PA Supreme Court in May (see PA Supremes Hear Oral Arguments in Can of Worms Royalty Lawsuit).
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