Va Supreme Court: property owners cannot keep pipeline surveyors off their land

The Virginia Supreme Court has ruled that the company planning to build the Atlantic Coast Pipeline has the right to survey properties along the proposed route – and landowners do not have the legal right in Virginia to keep them off their property. The pipeline went court after an Augusta County landowner refused to allow surveyors access.

From the Associated Press: RICHMOND, Va. _ 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.

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