Dominion Resources and its partners, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and AGL Resources, are preparing to build the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a 550-mile natural gas pipeline that will run from West Virginia to Southern North Carolina. About 180 miles of the pipeline will be in North Carolina. The portion in North Carolina will be 36” in diameter and will be able to carry 1.5 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2018.
In November 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission authorized Dominion to begin the pre-filing process.
When a gas company is authorized to construct a pipeline like this one, they first attempt to acquire the right-of-way by agreement. If the landowner and the gas company come to an agreement, an easement will be executed by the landowner and recorded in the register of deeds. However, if the parties are unable to agree to the amount of compensation, it may acquire the easement through the exercise of eminent domain in either state or federal court.
There are many possible pitfalls in negotiating a utility easement. Please make sure that your rights are protected and you receive adequate compensation before you finalize any agreements that affect your property.