Dominion Resources (d/b/a Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC) is soliciting easement agreements from owners of property through which the proposed pipeline will pass. DO NOT SIGN ANY EASEMENT AGREEMENT WITHOUT LEGAL ADVICE! Contact the Friends of Nelson Landowner Assistance Team, 434-260-3299 – leave us a phone number, someone from Friends of Nelson will reply to you quickly.
It is important that landowners (and everyone else!) recognize that Dominion is trying to obtain easements prior to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s ruling on whether the ACP even meets the standards for public need.
In the documents Friends of Nelson has seen, Dominion is actually asking for 50% more land than FERC said it would grant them IF the pipeline is approved. For example, they are proposing a 75-foot permanent right of way even though FERC stated in the DEIS that IF eminent domain is granted, FERC would only approve a 50’ permanent right of way. Anything larger than than could only be acquired through a consensual negotiation with the landowner. But many landowners don’t know that so they are at a disadvantage.
In addition, we’ve heard that Dominion is making low-ball offers that fall well below market values of the properties and are less than what the courts will eventually dictate if the company is forced to use the power of eminent domain. Of course, Dominion and their Doyle representatives do not point that out to unsuspecting landowners.
In order to accomplish its goals, Dominion is putting extreme pressure on some landowners. Representatives may call you and misrepresent the truth by warning you that this is the “best offer you’ll ever get,” or try to tempt you by suddenly making a “limited time” higher offer. They may even tell you that if you don’t sign now you will face unpleasant consequences (like forcible seizure) later on. None of these things are true; Dominion is trying to get rights to land without resorting to eminent domain, which would be a public relations disaster for them.
Dominion is counting on its corporate might to coerce agreements from people who do not know their rights. You are under no obligation to sign at this point, and we strongly advise you not to do so without counsel from your attorney. Immediately refer the company to your lawyer if you have one. If you don’t yet have one, contact us (434-260-3299) and we will direct you to a lawyer who will represent your interests at no out-of-pocket cost to you.
Lots of landowners have signed a pledge to stand together and refuse to sign easements with Dominion before eminent domain is declared. Local landowner Richard Averitt recently burned his easement proposal and we hope many other landowners will send Dominion a message by doing the same.
If you or anyone you know receive an easement proposal by mail or by phone, please contact us! Our Landowner Assistance Team is here to help you; leave us a phone number and someone from Friends of Nelson will reply to you quickly.
DO NOT BELIEVE Dominion or its representatives if they tell you, “Sign now for best terms!” DO NOT SIGN anything that Dominion sends you without proper legal advice.