Although production has slowed, some companies continue to build pipelines associated with transporting shale gas and oil here in Ohio. Private landowners often attempt to deny pipeline companies access to their property for the usual reasons such as not wanting what seems like trespassers on their property. However, the Ohio Ninth District Court of Appeals recently confirmed that under Ohio Revised Code Section 1723.01, pipeline companies have the clear right to enter private property to conduct survey activities.
Landowners argued that the statute allowed the pipeline company to survey only in connection with an actual appropriation (taking) of the land. The court ruled that the pipeline company could enter even before an appropriation action and without a showing of necessity.
This ruling confirms that many utility companies have broad access rights to a landowner’s private property. However, such rights are not unfettered. Nothing physically can be done to private property except with a landowner’s permission or after a legal process has run its course.
If you have any questions about this topic, feel free to contact Dana Rose or your Weston Hurd attorney.