WV judge bars pipeline surveyors from private property

Appalachian Mountain Advocates scored a critical victory yesterday when a West Virginia judge ruled that the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline is not for public use under West Virginia law and that the pipeline company cannot use a state statute to survey private property without the owner’s permission.

Monroe County Circuit Court Judge Robert Irons issued the injunction in front of a packed courtroom, which erupted with cheers and applause.

The property owners in the case were represented pro bono by Appalmad lawyers.

In court, Appalmad Senior Attorney Derek Teaney argued that little, if any, of the gas transported by the proposed pipeline would ever benefit West Virginia customers.

“The gas is not going to be used by West Virginians along most of the pipeline,” Teaney told the judge. “There’s no public use in Monroe County.”

Appalachian Mountain Advocates has offered to represent pro bono the property owners along the pipeline route who want to challenge the state law. We are also representing Virginia property owners challenging the constitutionality of the Virginia law that pipeline officials claim allows  surveying without permission from property owners.

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