Bethesda, MD (PRWEB) August 29, 2010
A Pennsylvania federal district court awarded attorneys fees to a group of Chester County, Pennsylvania landowners, in a thwarted condemnation action brought by a natural gas pipeline pursuant to its eminent domain authority under a FERC-issued certificate. Transco v. A Permanent Easement for .018 Acre and A Temporary Easement for .017 Acres of Land in East Caln Township, Chester County et. al., Docket No. cv-01385-TJS (August 19, 2010). The court concluded that the pipeline company was liable for attorneys fees under the Uniform Relocation Act, after finding that the pipeline had abandoned its condemnation action against the landowners when it was unable to procure a necessary environmental permit to proceed with the project. According to Washington D.C. based attorney Carolyn Elefant, this is only the second case where a pipeline, exercising its eminent domain power under the Natural Gas Act, subsequently abandoned a condemnation action and where as a result, landowners were able to recover attorneys fees.
To assist communities, landowners and other affected parties in natural gas pipeline siting proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Ms. Elefant has also released a comprehensive e-book, Know Your Rights When An Interstate Pipeline, which provides information on participating in the FERC process, a discussion of preemption and federal eminent domain, flow charts showing the stages of the FERC process and sample forms for intervention. The form is available for download at the website for the Law Offices of Carolyn Elefant, http://www.carolynelefant.com or online at http://www.docstoc.com/docs/document-preview.aspx?doc_id=51820650.
Carolyn Elefant is founder and principal attorney of the Law Offices of Carolyn Elefant in Washington D.C. The firm concentrates its practice on FERC and state commission regulatory matters, renewable energy development, federal siting, appeals and select eminent domain, takings and Section 1983 litigation in federal courts. Founded in 1993, Ms. Elefant's practice has been featured in publications such as the ABA Journal, Washington Legal Times and the Maryland Daily Record, and she is frequently quoted on energy issues in publications such as the Washington Times, New York Times and Wall Street Journal. A graduate of Cornell Law School, Elefant is licensed to practice in New York, Maryland and Washington D.C.