Appeals Court Allows Quick-Take of Land for Mountain Valley Pipeline
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the “take first, pay later” approach to building the Mountain Valley Pipeline, in which the company condemned private property in the project’s path before paying opposing landowners for their losses, reports The Roanoke Times.
Reporter Laurence Hammack writes that the ruling was a blow to pipeline foes, who have long decried the use of eminent domain to take parts of family farms and rural homeplaces to make way for a 303-mile natural gas pipeline through West Virginia and Virginia.
Landowners did not contest the laws that allowed the pipeline company to obtain forced easements through nearly 300 parcels in Southwest Virginia, but they objected to a lower-court ruling granting immediate possession of the disputed land before deciding how much each property owner should be compensated, Hammack explains.