Construction Law Insights

Va. Natural Gas, Inc. v. Sumner, 2018 Va. Cir. LEXIS 21 (Cir. Ct. City of Chesapeake Feb. 23, 2018)

Virginia Natural Gas, Inc. (“VNG”) filed a Petition for Condemnation and Application for Entry pursuant to Va. Code §§ 25.1-223 and 224. VNG sought to acquire a permanent and temporary construction easements over a portion of respondents’ property, for the construction and installation of a natural gas pipeline as part of VNG’s Southside Connector Distribution Project (the “Project”). The proposed pipeline would be, at a minimum, three feet below grade and within an existing Dominion Virginia Power easement where electrical transmission lines currently run.

The respondents argued that VNG did not have legal authority to take their property because VNG failed to obtain a new or additional certificate of public convenience and necessity (“Certificate”) from the State Corporation Commission (“SCC”). Because VGN already had a Certificate for the property it sought acquire, VNG was not required to obtain a new Certificate. Furthermore, VGN did not need a public hearing before the SCC because a Certificate was not being requested pursuant to Va. Code § 56-265.2.

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