The Lebanon Pipeline Awareness group continues to oppose the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline of the Williams Company. Below is a letter sent out from this group with more information and updates on the issue.
Fall is here! Hope everyone is enjoying the harvest season as the leaves change and the days turn shorter. We welcome all those new to our contact list.
Some of you may have received a mailing from us concerning easement offers from Williams. We know these offers have been made in Lancaster County – where some landowners have publicly refused the offer – and we have also heard that offers have been made in Schuylkill County. If you received an offer, please let us know; we’d like to know if Lebanon County landowners are receiving offers at this time.
Because this is an important issue and we want to be sure we did not miss anyone, we are including the information here that was in the mailing. If you have received an offer or will in the future, we urge you to consider the following:
Whether you are opposed to this pipeline or not, the fact remains that this first offer is probably not the best offer you can receive. Before you sign an agreement with Williams, please consider the following:
FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) has not yet approved this project. Therefore, be aware that—while Williams reserves the right to alter the course or otherwise change project details—you are locked into a legally binding contract without that same right to alter the terms of the agreement.
Once a Right of Way (ROW), always a ROW. Once the gas company establishes a ROW, they have the right to access it whenever they want, utilizing your property for future pipeline construction, expansion, replacement, or additional infrastructure requirements such as compressor stations or pumping stations. You are not simply saying “yes” to this high-pressure 42-inch line, but to additional projects they envision for this same ROW in the future.
Homeowners’ Insurance and Mortgages: Be sure to call your insurance carrier and mortgage provider to inquire how this pipeline would affect your insurance coverage and mortgage rates. Some insurance and mortgage companies are refusing to take the risk and therefore denying coverage—OR, even if they do not drop your coverage, they may refuse to cover any damages relating to pipeline failures (accidents, leaks, water contamination, explosions, etc.). That means if there is any kind of accident in the future (or unforeseen damage done to your property during the installation), you would have to sue the gas company for any compensation. Williams’ insurance covers Williams—not you!
Property Values: If you had any inclination to sell your home in the future, the price of your property will likely decline substantially as a result of this project. This is particularly the case in scenic, rural areas—far more so than in urban or industrial areas.
In addition, a document containing useful information from the following websites was included:
Landowner’s Rights – Pipeline Safety Coalition – http://www.pscoalition.org/pages/landowners-rights
Eminent domain attorney Michael Faherty’s website lists examples of case settlements that show the original offer and the final settlement – http://www.laverylaw.com/news/eminent_news.php
We hope you will review this information and strongly urge you to get legal representation before signing any agreement for the pipeline. Remember that Williams is negotiating for their best deal, not yours.
Atlantic Sunrise Updates
Williams announced its environmental stewardship program this week. Read what Lancaster County residents had to say about the program in this article. We at Lebanon Pipeline Awareness agree: It seems quite unfair that community environmental organizations, no matter how well-intentioned and how much good community work they do, should be included in discussions and receive possible benefits when landowners are excluded from these talks and are taking a personal loss. This is just one more way that Williams will try divide a community by creating winners and losers.
South Londonderry Township
A community group is forming in South Londonderry Township! The first meeting for interested South Londonderry Township residents will take place Tuesday, October 21, at 6 p.m. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for details if you are interested in joining this group.
We would like to hold a community information meeting in Union Township and are searching for a place to meet. If you can help us locate a meeting place, please let us know.
We intend to hold meetings in all the townships along the pipeline in Lebanon County. If you are willing to help organize a community meeting in your township, by all means contact us!
The opposition grows!
Martic Township became the first municipality in Lancaster County along the pipeline to officially oppose the Atlantic Sunrise project. The supervisors voted 5-0 to say NO to the pipeline after hearing from their constituents that the pipeline is not in their best interest. Read the article here.
Have you asked your township supervisors where they stand on the pipeline? With the upcoming election, have you questioned the candidates about the pipeline? They cannot know your opinion unless they hear from you, so we urge all of you to talk to your elected officials and candidates now and let them know how you feel about the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline. Always remember that your legislators – from local to federal – were elected to represent you!
LANCASTER COUNTY PIPELINE INFORMATIONAL MEETING
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2014 – TONIGHT!!!
WHEN: Thursday, October 16, 2014
TIME: 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.
WHERE: Farm and Home Center, 1383 Arcadia Road, Lancaster, PA
We don’t know what seating will be available at this meeting presented by the Lancaster Farmland Trust and The Lancaster County Conservancy, but it is open to the public.
RALLY TO SUPPORT LANDOWNERS & NEIGHBORS IN LANCASTER COUNTY
OCTOBER 25 AT NOON IN BINNS PARK, LANCASTER CITY
Show your support for our southern neighbors by attending this rally planned to show landowners along the pipeline that they are not alone. Find more details on the event here.
Would you like to see a pipeline event in Lebanon County? We sure would, but we need your help. Contact us with your ideas at email@example.com.
On behalf of Lebanon Pipeline Awareness,