Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  Does this pipeline proposed by a private compny qualify for eminent domain in Kentucky?
A.  Kentucky law is not clear on whether this type of pipeline would qualify for eminent domain.  The Williams Company publicly states that it would prefer not to "use eminent domain," which certainly makes it sound as if they believe the can.  However, it may also be a tactic to subtly coerce land-owners into giving up their land rights out of fear of their perceived authority.  Some websites for out-of-state law firms would suggest that land owners have no option but to negotiate and grant the easement.  However, Kentucky environmental law experts and even the governor's office have stated the issue is not clear.  If the Williams Company chose to try to condemn someone's property, that land owner could take the matter to court.

Q.  I couldn't afford to fight such a large company in court. Is there any hope for me?
A.  Yes.  Contact us.  We may be able to help.

Q.  I need the money.  What harm could this pipeline easement do?
A.  Granting this easement negatively could affect landowners in several ways:

  • It could decrease your property value by anywhere from 4 - 50%.
  • It could prevent you from refinancing your house.
  • It could affect a buyer's ability to get a mortgage to purchase your house if you want to sell it in the future.
  • If there is a leak or explosion, the property damage would probably not be covered by your homeowner's insurance.  
  • Currently, the company has posted no bonds to compensate victims in the event of property damage, death, or dismemberment.  You would probably have to sue the company for adequate compensation--which could take years.
  • If your neighbor's property is damaged by an explosion on your easement, you could be sued--and guess what--your homeowner's policy would not cover this.
  • It is very possible that your homeowner's insurance would increase.
  • Your family could become ill or die if a leak allows toxic NGLs to seep into your water source.
  • If you have livestock drinking from ponds or streams, they could become sickened or die if NGLs are leaked into their water source.
  • If your water supply is contaminated, and you use it for crops or landscaping, there could be extensive damage or loss.  With no company bonds being posted, you would probably have to sue for compensation.
  • You'll get a one-time payment for the easement that is probably well below the actual value of the land.
  • You will have to live with restrictions on your land indefinitely.
  • A temporary 100 foot easement would be cleared for construction, which could leave an unsightly scar on forested land.
  • You would not be able to build or replant trees on the remaining 50 foot easement.  
  • You'll still pay taxes on the easement that you cannot use.
  • You'll still make any mortgage or farm land loan payments on an easement you cannot use.
  • If you plan to plant crops on the easement, you'll need to negotiate an agreement for the company to bury the line deeper than the customary three feet to allow for "safe" plowing.
  • Your farming insurance may increase, and/or it may not cover damage from this pipeline.