Va. Supreme Court Upholds Controversial Pipeline Surveying Law

Jul 13, 2017

Supreme Court of Virginia

  The Virginia Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the company developing the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in a lawsuit against a woman who sought to keep surveyors off her property.

Hazel Palmer owns land in Virginia's Augusta County along the route of the proposed natural gas pipeline from West Virginia to North Carolina. The company went to court after she refused to allow surveys.

 

She argued that because the company is organized under Delaware law, a Virginia law allowing surveying privileges shouldn't apply.

 

The court disagreed and ruled Thursday that Palmer's property rights don't allow her to exclude the surveyors.

 

Pipeline spokesman Aaron Ruby says the ruling is consistent with every other state and federal court that has looked at the issue.

 

Palmer's attorney couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

In a separate case, the court ruled Thursday that surveyors had to give landowners notice of the specific dates they would be entering the property.

 

Dominion spokesman Aaron Ruby wrote in a statement that the company is  "hopeful today’s ruling will settle this issue and allow us to continue working cooperatively with landowners to develop infrastructure in a way that minimizes impacts to the environment and their properties."

Ruby said Dominion has already changed its policy on notifications.