Barr v. Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLCAnnotate this Case
A majority of the Supreme Court held (1) Va. Code 56-49.01(A) allows a natural gas company to gain access to private property for the purpose of conducting surveys and other activities that are only necessary for the selection of the most advantageous route; and (2) the trial court did not misapply section 56-49.01 in this case.
Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC (ACP), which was engaged in the regulatory approval process to build a natural gas pipeline, sought permission to enter Landowners’ properties to conduct preliminary surveys and other activities. Landowners withheld their consent. ACP filed the instant second amended petition for declaratory judgment seeking an order affirming ACP’s authority to enter Landowners’ properties for the purposes defined in section 56-49.01. The trial court granted ACP permission to enter the properties to conduct the necessary activities. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the trial court did not err in its construction of section 56-49.01(A); and (2) the trial court’s application of section 56-49.01 was not improper.