Thompson Backs INGAA Landowner-Notification Proposal
Sen. Fred Thompson (R-TN) last week lent his support to a
pipeline-sponsored proposal that would require pipelines seeking to
seize private property for projects to notify affected landowners
by certified mail at the outset of FERC proceedings, giving them an
opportunity to participate more fully in the process.
Specifically, the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America
(INGAA) initiative would require pipelines to inform landowners
along the right-of-way of a project one day after an application
has been filed at the Commission, and to forward to them a FERC
brochure outlining the eminent domain process and the rights of
landowners to participate in FERC proceedings. The INGAA proposal
is nearly a mirror image of legislation Thompson, an ardent critic
of the existing landowner-notification process, sponsored earlier
In his Sept. 28th letter to the Commission, Thompson suggested
one clarification to the pipeline proposal. "...I believe it would
be helpful to specify in the proposed rulemaking what information
must be included in the notice that gas companies are required to
send to landowners," Thompson wrote to Chairman James Hoecker.
FERC plans to hold a technical conference in December to address
its landowner notification policy, which some believe could lead to
a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) or other action on the
INGAA, the senator said, has indicated that it would have "no
problem" with the clarification.
Thompson proposed his bill after 50 landowners of Marion County,
TN, complained they were taken by surprise when United States
Gypsum Corp. sought and received from FERC the right to seize
interests in their property to build a small gas pipeline through
the county to serve a new plant to be sited in Bridgeport, AL.
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