An Invitation to an Important Community-Landowner Meeting, from POWHR Member Bert Bondurant:
Please mark you calendars:
Our POWHR Coalition along with Preserve Montgomery County, VA will host:
Community-Landowner Easement Opposition Meeting
at Blacksburg Presbyterian Church
Thursday, March 2, 2017
from 6:30-8:30 pm.
Attorneys experienced in survey and easement court challenges, FERC process, and property rights and eminent domain issues will speak. We encourage residents of all affected counties along the proposed MVP to attend!
Below is a link to Sunday’s RT article on easement sales tactics by MVP agents and easement information from attorneys. Also attached an informational piece on easements–the most important piece of which is that there is NO CERTIFICATION yet; there may NEVER be a certification; in the event of certification there will be many APPEALS AND LEGAL CHALLENGES to any such decision. There is thus NO present need to sell your property rights in an easement. PLEASE STAND AGAINST EASEMENTS AND SUPPORT OUR LANDOWNERS IN THIS CHALLENGE!!
A few notes on Sunday’s article:
1) First, a round of applause to ALL of you, in counties along the proposed MVP, who have spent at least two and a half years refusing entrance to surveyors, greeting surveyors, police and sheriffs’ deputies at your boundaries, challenging MVP in court, and in refusing to sign easements! We are cautiously optimistic at the RT report of only one easement in the proposed route through Roanoke County, as of late January. Craig has only a few as well, and as of yesterday, Preserve Giles reports their numbers are percentage-wise, significantly lower in easement sales than MVP numbers suggest…(see below)
2) SMOKE AND MIRRORS: MVP spokesperson Natalie Cox told the RT that about 1250 easement agreements have been negotiated. She did not offer a ratio of easement purchases to total easements, thus there’s no percentage of easements sold…
You may also note the reference to “acreage” in paragraph 4: Experienced property rights and eminent domain attorney Chuck Lollar, quoted extensively in Sunday’s article, notes that the use of the word “acreage” simply masks that the company has NOT met its goal of easement purchases, and the more vague reference to acreage can mislead landowners and scare or discourage them into easement sales…
3) Whether you’re talking easements or acreage, FERC-specialist attorney Carolyn Elefant finds that the number of land purchases should be legally irrelevant to adequate NEPA analysis of real costs, benefits, and alternatives, including the NO BUILD ALTERNATIVE.
4) WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO REFUSE TO SIGN EASEMENTS: Economist Spencer Phillips directs us to a provision in FERC “policy”, which allows FERC to find that:
“…if project sponsors…are able to acquire all or substantially all of the necessary right of way by negotiation prior to filing the application…it would not adversely affect any of (the public) interests…”
While “substantially all” does not appear to be quantified in the federal code,
this language motivates MVP agents to mislead and discourage landowners into believing they MUST SELL, for a variety of unfounded reasons…. it motivates MVP officers and agents to use inflated numbers and self-created standards, in order to facilitate FERC as it rams an application through a fast-tracked, lightning speed process.
Please, folks, lets continue to do everything in our power to keep that from happening. Please consider… NO EASEMENTS.
Roberta M. Bondurant
Protect Our Water, Heritage, Rights
Preserve Roanoke/ Bent Mountain