Eminent domain strategy on table: Hanover PA Evening Sun, 11/26/06

By Tim Pratt

The Tyrone Township [PA] supervisors and some residents are looking into ways to fight a possible land seizure by eminent domain to build a natural gas compressor station proposed near Oxford Road and Route 234.

At an October public meeting held by Duke Energy, the gas transmission company proposing the compressor station, Duke officials said that although it would be a "last resort," land adjacent to the 40-acre property could potentially be seized for power lines that would serve the station.

But that statement didn't sit very well with the roughly 30 people in attendance.

So on Dec. 4 at the Heidlersburg Volunteer Fire Co., the Tyrone board of supervisors and several residents will hold their own public meeting to discuss combating eminent domain and other strategies in dealing with the proposed station.

"The meeting will cover details of a proposed ordinance that may challenge the exercise of eminent domain by corporations that operate under state charters," the supervisors said in a letter to all township residents. "The ordinance would prohibit them from operating in a township in ways found to be contrary to the will and better judgment of local citizens and their elected officials."

Thomas Linzey, Esq., and Ben Price from the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund are scheduled to speak at the meeting.

Duke Energy has held three public meetings since February to discuss the compressor. Besides eminent domain, citizens have also been concerned with the safety of the proposed station.

Duke officials have said a compressor station is needed every 50 to 70 miles in order to boost pressure in pipelines and deliver natural gas from Texas to numerous sites throughout the Northeast.

Officials said the existing natural-gas pipelines are losing pressure because of friction in the pipes and increases in the number of locations the pipes are accessed. According to Duke Energy representatives, Tyrone Township is a prime location for such a compressor.

The nearest Duke Energy compressor stations are located in Chambersburg and Marietta.

Hanover PA Evening Sun: http://www.eveningsun.com