Landowners To Face Increasing Pressure From Pipeline Companies


The companies planning three major pipelines to pump natural gas from Marcellus Shale fields to East Coast markets have already begun attempting to assemble and purchase the easements they’ll need to secure the rights-of-way for the pipelines — 50- to 75-foot swaths of land cutting through other people’s property, national forests and the Appalachian Trail.

These easements are contracts that restrict landowners’ usage of their own land and give the pipeline companies permanent rights in exchange for a one-time payment.

For landowners along the planned routes of these pipelines, that may mean some hard-sell tactics from the companies, making it more important than ever that landowners know their legal rights and have an experienced representative to help them through the process.

Easements can be extraordinarily complicated, with lasting consequences for both how landowners can use their land and how much it is worth. The easement language can determine what compensation, if any, a landowner receives if there is a pipeline accident or explosion.

“If you own land in the path of one of these pipelines, you have the right to legal representation — and many other legal rights,” said John Barrett of Bailey Glasser. “Accepting the pipeline’s initial offer could cost you more than you would ever know, both financially and in terms of rights to use your own land.”

Hundreds of West Virginia property owners could be faced with this situation in the coming months. We can put you in touch with landowners who have been in this place and attorneys who have helped guide them through to the best results. For more information, please contact John Barrett at or 304.345.6555.


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