The growth of oil and gas production in Ohio has been controversial. Many Ohioans welcome the influx of jobs and various economic benefits. However, there are disadvantages to counter the benefits. One significant issue is the taking of private land. As a property owner in Ohio, you risk having your property rights limited due to an easement or right-of-way agreement or having your property appropriated through eminent domain. Whatever the case, if you are approached by an oil, natural gas, or energy company regarding your property, call our Ohio pipeline attorneys right away.

Negotiating with the oil and gas industry takes considerable experience and a unique skill set from sophisticated legal counsel. At Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA, we are here to help if you wish to fight back against a taking under eminent domain or negotiate a fair easement. By working with our attorneys in Dublin, Ohio you gain the level of attention that your issue merits.

With decades of experience, we have distinguished ourselves in this field. Our oil and gas litigation attorneys are highly knowledgeable regarding federal and Ohio laws related to oil and gas pipelines and transmission lines. When necessary, we can protect your rights during the litigation or regulatory process. Additionally, we pay close attention to legislation and issues affecting oil and natural gas pipelines. We keep track of what is happening on the federal and state level, which allows us to know when a decision may impact your rights and options.

To learn more about oil and gas pipeline regulations in Ohio, or to seek assistance in eminent domain litigation, contact Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA online or call (614) 602-6550 to schedule a consultation..

Oil and Natural Gas Pipelines Can Lead to Eminent Domain

Ohio’s natural gas production has increased significantly in recent years. Production rose by 43% between the first quarter of 2018 compared to the same period the year before, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). From the third quarter of 2017 to the third quarter of 2018, natural gas production increased by 31.4%. Oil production also increased during this time.

There are more than 60,000 active oil and gas wells in the state. These are spread out through several areas, including the Mount Vernon, Point Pleasant, and Marcellus shale plays. Thanks in part to the productive Mount Vernon Shale, the state has become one of the major oil and gas producers in the U.S.

This growth significantly impacts you and other Ohio residents. As more businesses move in and dig new wells, there is an increase in the transportation of equipment and the resulting oil and natural gas. These materials have to be moved throughout the state, and in many cases, out of Ohio, for production and sales. One of the fastest ways to transport these hazardous materials is through pipelines. Unfortunately, the most efficient route for pipelines may be through your private property, which can lead to the abusive use of eminent domain.

If a private oil and gas company has contacted you, or a business has taken steps to survey your land, contact our Ohio pipelines attorneys regarding your rights immediately.

Ohio Transmission Line Projects

Ohio and other states are consistently updating and expanding their energy grids, which requires transmission line projects. In Ohio, projects that involve a certain distance or voltage have to receive approval from the Ohio Power Siting Board. The OPSB has approved dozens of projects and routinely receives applications for new projects. Like oil and natural gas pipelines, the projected route for new transmission lines may encompass private property, which can lead to the use of eminent domain.

Eminent Domain in Ohio

Eminent domain is the power through which a government may take private property for public use. The process is known as condemnation. To utilize eminent domain, the authority has to make an offer for your property, which usually occurs after the authority has your land appraised. A business can come onto your land to obtain an appraisal. If you refuse the offer, the next step is for the authority to file a petition in court to appropriate your property. This is the beginning of a lawsuit, and you will be served with legal documents. After receiving legal documents regarding condemnation proceedings, we recommend you call an oil and gas lawyer right away. You must respond to this document within a certain amount of time; otherwise, the authority can seek a judgment against you without your input.

When a state or local government appropriates your land, Ohio law requires that you are compensated with the fair market value. This is the price you could obtain if that property were voluntarily sold to the public. It is the amount a buyer is willing to pay, and you would be willing to accept when you are both fully informed of the circumstances regarding the property and its value. Also, if the taking of part of your property reduces the value of the remaining property, you also may be entitled to damages.

As “fair” as this may seem, it may not be what you want, especially when the party contacting you is a private company attempting to exercise the power of eminent domain. You may have little or no interest in giving up a portion of your property. If you have been contacted regarding an oil or gas pipeline or a transmission line project, and you are not interested in voluntarily agreeing to an easement, contact our oil and gas litigation attorneys right away.

We are well-versed in Ohio eminent domain law and highly experienced in eminent domain litigation. Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA has seen many privately owned oil, natural gas, and other energy companies abuse the purpose of eminent domain. They utilize this legal process to ignore private property owner’s rights to further their profit. We are here to ensure your rights and interests are represented in court. We can aggressively fight the appropriation of your property.

It is challenging to succeed in fighting eminent domain. The real dispute may be the price you are entitled to for your land and the loss of value in your remaining property. If you are forced to part with a portion of your land, we will strive for you to be properly compensated.

Negotiating Oil and Natural Gas Easements

Not all oil and gas pipelines or transmission line projects result in eminent domain proceedings. In many circumstances, you will be approached by the energy company regarding an easement or right-of-way. You may be open to the arrangement, particularly if you own an abundance of land and the pipeline or transmission line would not be close to your home or business. However, you should still speak with our Ohio pipeline attorneys regarding your rights.

The company may provide you with a pipeline easement or right-of-way agreement. You should not sign anything without talking to an oil and gas lawyer. By hiring an experienced attorney, you ensure the agreements are appropriately reviewed and negotiated. We will ensure your property rights are not violated and that your potential liability is limited. We also will fight for you to be appropriately compensated for enabling the energy company to use your land.

During the process, it is essential you talk with our Ohio pipeline attorneys regarding whether your situation falls under the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). If your situation is controlled by FERC, there is a greater chance that the company can pursue your property through eminent domain. However, if it is not under FERC’s purview, then there is greater room to negotiate a beneficial deal.

Regulatory Agencies Related to Oil and Natural Gas Pipelines

There are several federal and state agencies, including the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), which are involved in pipeline projects. The purpose of PHMSA is to protect the environment and individuals by promoting the safe transportation of hazardous materials, including oil and natural gas. It is responsible for ensuring pipelines are safely designed, constructed, operated, and maintained, and that companies appropriately respond to spills. The PHMSA gathers and publishes data, creates and enforces regulations, and issues Department of Transportation (DOT) approvals and special permits for natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines.

Other relevant federal government agencies are the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA), and the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR).

There also are state agencies relevant to the approval, construction, and operation of oil and gas pipelines. The ODNR Division of Oil and Gas regulates oil and gas drilling and production within the state, and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) creates and enforces state-level environmental regulations.

If you have any questions regarding a proposed pipeline, a pipeline currently under construction, or an already functioning pipeline, contact an oil and gas lawyer at Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA. We will listen to your immediate concerns and discuss your legal rights. If there is a valid environmental or regulatory issue, we can guide you in addressing the situation through the proper regulatory channels or litigation

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G. Gregory Arenstein, Esq., LLM

Shareholder

Greg started Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA with Nicholas I. Andersen in March 2010. Greg has many years of legal and tax experience working with clients on a wide array of business, estate planning, and tax issues. Greg is an experienced problem solver with the ability to assist clients with their most complex needs and the ability to communicate with his clients in plain English. Practice areas include: Estate Planning, Business Law, Taxation, Real Estate, Probate and Trust Administration, Legal Services for Healthcare Professionals

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Nicholas I. Andersen, Esq., MBA

Shareholder

Nick started Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA with G. Gregory Arenstein in March 2010. Nick has extensive experience in civil litigation, business, estate planning, real estate, oil & gas, including pipelines, and representing taxpayers in collection actions. Nick’s practice also includes an expansive and diverse clientele of healthcare professionals, including physicians, dentists, and veterinarians. He believes in being available to his clients whenever they are in need. Practice areas include: Legal Services for Healthcare Professionals, Civil Litigation, Business Law, Real Estate, Estate Planning, Oil and Gas Law, Taxation

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Eric R. McLoughlin, Esq.

Shareholder

Eric has many years of experience representing clients in probate and trust administration, business, and estate planning matters. He has a strong passion for helping people with their legal matters, and strives to provide all his clients with the personalized service they deserve. Practice areas include: Probate and Trust Administration, Business Law, Estate Planning

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Jessica L. Sohner, Esq. (née Samuel)

Shareholder

Jessica has years of experience representing clients in family and domestic matters, including divorce, dissolution, and post-decree matters. She believes in providing quality representation for clients while maintaining sensitivity to their individualized needs during stressful litigation. Practice areas include: Family Law, Civil Litigation, Oil and Gas Law

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Erin L. Sanford, Esq.

Shareholder

Erin joined Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA as a Shareholder in February 2022. Erin has over 12 years of experience working in all areas of family law. Erin understands that when you are navigating through the court system, whether it is a divorce, child custody matter, the need for a guardian of a loved one, or the loss of a loved one it is a stressful time and she is there to be by her clients’ side.

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Ryan L. DeYoung, Esq.

Senior Associate

Ryan is a Senior Associate at Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA. Ryan joined the firm in August 2020. Ryan’s practice is devoted to assisting clients in civil litigation matters. Prior to joining Arenstein & Andersen, his practice focused on the representation of individuals and small business debtors as an attorney with a small bankruptcy law firm for almost 7 years. In addition to his practice of bankruptcy law, Ryan also has prior experience in the litigation of housing and employment related claims, including claims brought under the Fair Housing Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, and Civil Rights Act, as well as been an adjunct lecturer in The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business. 

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James W. Park, Esq.

Associate

Jim and Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA formed an “of counsel” relationship in 2015 to assist the firm’s clients in the areas of bankruptcy and creditor protection. Jim has been working in personal bankruptcy since 2005. He began practicing as an attorney solely in the area of personal bankruptcy in 2007, with a focus mainly in Chapters 7 and 13 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. Jim understands that financial distress is common today and strives to provide clients with the respect and understanding they deserve while helping them through their difficult times. In December of 2021, Jim became a full-time associate attorney at the firm.

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Robert E. Putman, Esq.

Associate

Robert joined Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA as a full-time associate attorney in October 2021. He is eager to provide clients with legal assistance in the areas of estate planning, business law, and general civil matters. He believes every client matter is unique and deserves careful professional attention to ensure the client’s interests are protected. 

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Erin M. Haughey, Esq.

Associate

Erin joined Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA as a full-time associate attorney in October 2021 and earned her J.D. from Capital University Law School. Erin focuses her practice on estate and trust administration and understands the difficulty of losing a loved one. Erin works diligently to ensure that her clients are given the care and attention they deserve so she can best help them understand and achieve their desired goals.

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Joseph A. Downing, Esq.

Of Counsel

Joe has extensive experience representing clients in estate planning, probate, business, real estate, elder law, and Medicaid planning. Joe prides himself on his ability to build long-term, trusting relationships with clients, and enjoys assisting them with their short and long-term legal needs. Joe and his law firm, Joseph A. Downing Co., L.P.A., are of counsel with our firm. Practice areas include: Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Administration, Business Law, Real Estate

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Christen M. Shore, Esq.

Of Counsel

As a former adjunct professor at Capital University Law School, Christen has been practicing intellectual property law for over 20 years. She has represented multi-national corporations, universities, small business, and individuals in the protection of their intellectual property – including patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. Christen and her law firm, Christen M. Shore Co., L.P.A., are of counsel with our firm. Practice area include: Intellectual Property

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Kathleen A. Hanley, JD

Retired

Kathi is retired and living in Tucson, Arizona. She serves as a valuable advisor to the firm, and assists with continuity of service to her longtime clients that continue to entrust their legal needs to us.

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Contact Our Ohio Pipeline Attorneys

At Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA, we believe in protecting Ohio landowners from abusive eminent domain tactics. We will aggressively fight against the unnecessary and improper taking of your land for an oil or gas pipeline or transmission line. Our team of oil and gas litigation attorneys is highly experienced in fighting eminent domain and in obtaining full and fair compensation for our clients’ land and damages.

Additionally, we understand you may wish to cooperate with oil and gas pipeline or transmission line projects and avoid litigation. Our oil and gas lawyers are highly experienced in protecting your property rights during easement or right-of-way negotiations. We will make sure you receive a fair deal and that you are prepared for the likely and potential consequences of the agreement.

To speak with an Ohio pipeline lawyer at Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA, call (614) 602-6550 or contact us online