NJ Landowners in Federal Court to Fight Pipeline Company on Eminent Domain

Sixty-three New Jersey landowners took their fight against the proposed PennEast pipeline to federal court in Trenton yesterday, arguing that the company has no right to take parts of their properties using eminent domain.

The hearing before U.S. District Judge Brian Martinotti was the first of three to challenge the company’s recent filing of eminent domain suits against private landowners and government entities that have refused offers of compensation for building the natural gas pipeline on their land.

Attorneys for the landowners — around 40 of whom were in court — argued that the PennEast Pipeline Co. does not yet have final approval from the federal government that would allow it to take private land by eminent domain, even though the company filed the suits after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a conditional approval of the project on Jan. 19.

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