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Pipeline firm sues landowners in 10 W.Va. counties

BECKLEY, W.Va. — A company seeking to run a massive natural gas pipeline through the state has followed through on a threat to take legal action against West Virginia landowners who have thus far refused to allow access to their properties.

Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC, (MVP) filed a petition Friday in U.S. District Court in Beckley asking federal authorities to force three corporations and more than 100 other property owners residing in 10 West Virginia counties to permit the developer’s agents to survey their land in order to to lay out a route for the 300-mile pipeline.

 The lawsuit maintains that each of the named respondents was contacted with a request for consent to survey and that each respondent “failed or refused to permit MVP (to) enter the respondents’ properties and/or prevented MVP from completing the necessary survey.”

If approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the pipeline will provide a conduit for natural gas from northwestern West Virginia to southern Virginia.

The suit filed against the 103 individuals and three corporations relies upon the doctrine of eminent domain — a power that is given to government and to private companies in certain, limited circumstances, to forcibly purchase private property for a project that serves the public good…


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