Should Clermont County residents know more about the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline that is to buried under our farmland? This pipeline will carry natural gas liquids (NGLs) from western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and eastern Ohio to the Ohio River. The proposed path brings the pipeline through Clermont around Felicity and Chilo where it will cross the Ohio River and connect to a pipeline in Kentucky. The pipeline will go eventually to the U.S. Gulf Coast.
The pipeline will be carrying NGLs from the hydraulic fracturing process (fracking) and contain ethane, butane and propane, and other hazardous by-products of natural gas and oil.
The company building the pipeline is a private company called Williams and Boardwalk Partners. They have already been approaching landowners along the pipeline route trying to buy easements. This private company does not have the right of eminent domain which is the power to take private property for public use so they must get or buy permission from landowners to cross their property.
If a landowner is approached and does not want to sell an easement through their land, there are some steps they should take to protect their rights and their land. First is just to refuse to sign an easement –this company cannot take land by eminent domain. Refusing is not an easy thing to do because money will be offered for the easement. But if a landowner feels pressured, they should consult an attorney or join with their neighbors and then talk to an attorney as a group.
Also, landowners who have been approached or who have been told their land can be taken by eminent domain should contact their Township and County officials so they are made aware of what is happening. We want our local government to be keenly aware and keenly concerned about landowners who might have environmental concerns or feel pressured to sell an easement.