Nexus desires to survey property that the company desires to acquire. There is little choice but for the oil pipeline companies to move forward unless the companies know what kind of soils will be dealt with. Challenges of environmental hazards, especially wetlands, rivers and the like, make it mandatory for the pipeline companies to assess what effects will occur on the environment from the pipeline.
A number of Ohio trial courts have already granted temporary restraining orders in favor of the pipeline company. One very well can expect this to continue.
The real issue is whether compensation must be made as part of the entry. In many states, the requirement may be one in which the compensation estimate for the entry must be made prior to the filing of a complaint for entry.
On Monday, attorneys for the gas company argued that Ohio law allows them to go onto private property to conduct surveys whether the property owners want them there or not. Medina County Prosecutor Dean Holman has already issued an opinion believing that the surveyors are committing criminal trespass if they enter property where they are not welcome. Attorneys for the project say that is not consistent with opinions in other courts across the state.
“We believe that under Ohio law we have the right to enter your property and it’s not a criminal trespass,” said attorney Jim Hughes.
Hughes is seeking an injunction against the property owners who are turning away surveyors for the project. He argued the company is not seeking to acquire property for the pipeline, only to survey the properties along the route where the pipeline is proposed for “native species, geological formations, cultural artifacts and environmental issues, such as wetlands,” said Hughes.
“A private property owner ought to be able to look at a gas company representative and decide whether they want to allow the survey or not and if I’m paying my mortgage payment and I’m paying my real estate taxes I would expect that I could say no I don’t want you to do this,” said Greg Huber.
Attorneys for the Nexus project also claim that the company will be irreparably harmed if the project is not completed by November 2017.
“That is a critical date, they will lose several million dollars per month that it is not online after 2017, their construction cost will go up and their reputation within the industry will be made,” argued Hughes.