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UTILITIES AND LAND USE: A DEVELOPING STORY

There are several competing factors at play when the energy and utility demands of a region increase. In New England, much of those demands can be seen during extreme temperatures, whether it is the heat waves of summer or protracted cold months in winter. In this region, many homes rely on natural gas to heat their homes during the winter.

But when those needs for natural gas increase-or are projected to increase-what are the appropriate responses and expectations from utility companies and landowners alike?

We can start to see some of that playing out with the 412-mile natural gas line expansion that is being proposed for construction from Pennsylvania to the Merrimack Valley area, ending in Dracut, Massachusetts. This proposed multi-billion dollar project would be constructed through several communities in Massachusetts (a brief outline can be found here), and there are a number of federal, state, and local players involved, not to mention individual landowners that might be affected. Two recent reports highlight (this report and also this one) the various land use and ownership factors at play, including discussion of eminent domain takings and use of existing utility easements on private property needed to accommodate the pipeline.

As is to be expected in a project of this scale and scope, there is already vocal opposition and concern. We will continue to monitor the land use aspects of this project from both sides of the debate as it winds its way through the public hearing process.

Written by Kristen M. Ploetz, Esq., of Green Lodestar Communications & Consulting, LLC, on behalf of Jeffrey T. Angley, P.C. Edited by Jeffrey T. Angley, Esq.

Copyright (c) 2011-2015 by Jeffrey T. Angley, P.C. All rights reserved.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this post is general in nature and for educational purposes only. No personal legal advice is being provided. If you have an actual legal issue that needs to be addressed, you should seek the advice of competent legal counsel. This post does not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and Jeffrey T. Angley, P.C., Phillips & Angley or their attorneys.

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