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July 19, 2021

Law360: High Court Ruling Won't Stop States From Thwarting Pipelines

Yvonne Hennessey, Environmental and Lobbying & Election Law Compliance Practice Area chair, and Mark McNamara, Property Tax & Condemnation Practice Area chair, recently had their “High Court Ruling Won’t Stop States From Thwarting Pipelines” article published by Law360. The article addresses the United States Supreme Court’s decision in PennEast Pipeline Co. LLC v. New Jersey, which held that PennEast was authorized under the Natural Gas Act (NGA) to take right-of-way interests in land owned by New Jersey for construction of its 116-mile pipeline through an eminent domain action against New Jersey in federal court. The article states:

“While the Supreme Court agreed nonconsenting states are generally immune from suit, it concluded that states, including New Jersey, had surrendered their immunity from the exercise of the federal eminent domain power when they ratified the Constitution. This included PennEast’s suits brought under the NGA because the statute delegates the federal eminent domain power to private parties, including against state-owned property.”

The article further explains that even though the Supreme Court’s decision removes one of PennEast’s hurdles, it still faces several others. The project requires other approvals to move forward. Additionally, states can continue to use their Clean Water Act authority to block a pipeline. 

Click here to read the full article. 
 

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