Belmont County

Belmont County

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New oil and gas pipelines to affect landowners

Updated: Saturday, March 1 2014, 09:55 PM EST

By Jessica Guay

Belmont County, OH -

Gas and oil pipelines will soon make their way through Ohio for Utica shale and Marcellus shale companies to transport natural gas to the Gulf Coast.

Two pipelines, the Ohio Pipeline Energy (OPEN) project pipeline and projected PVR pipeline are making their way through Ohio.

The OPEN pipeline, 76 miles long, will go through Columbiana, Carroll, Jefferson, Belmont and Monroe counties. The proposed PVR pipeline, 45 miles long, will go through Belmont, Jefferson and Harrison counties.

Eminent domain attorneys William Goldman and Michael Braunstein of the law firm Goldman & Braunstein held a free, informational meeting on Saturday for landowners affected by the pipelines in the area.

Representatives will visit landowners in these pipeline routes to survey the land and submit an offer for an easement to build the property.

“What we told people today is that they need to be concerned about two things, first, they need to be concerned about the language of the easement itself,” attorney Michael Braunstein said. “The second part is equally important, to get the amount of compensation that people are entitled to for what’s taken, the easement itself, but also for damages.”

Braunstein said that it’s important to get the highest possible price for use of property and to make sure property will be restored, maintained and protected.

He also said to take photos of your property before and after construction because if there is any damage, the companies are liable.

“A typical concern is it’s going close to their house and they’re concerned about living in the house and also how it affects value or going across a spring or some natural feature of that land that’s going to be interfered or damaged,” Braunstein said.

Landowners were told to not feel pressure into signing anything when surveyors come to their homes and to review any documents with a lawyer.

“You do need a second opinion; you need to have somebody who has some experience dealing with pipelines advising you so that you can know what’s going to happen now and what also is likely to happen to you in the future. And then draft revisions in the agreement that will protect you against that or at least you’ll know what you’re getting in for,” said Braunstein.

Property owners who decline could face eminent domain action, which could result in a court ordering your property to be used for the project.

Land acquisitions are underway for both projects and construction is expected to begin late this year.

New oil and gas pipelines to affect landowners

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