(Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court docket on Tuesday barred PennEast Pipeline Co from utilizing a federal legislation to grab properties managed by the state of New Jersey with a view to construct a proposed $1 billion pure gasoline pipeline.
The U.S. Court docket of Appeals for the Third Circuit stated in its determination that the U.S. Pure Fuel Act doesn’t permit firms to sentence state managed land in federal court docket as a result of states take pleasure in sovereign immunity from such actions beneath the Eleventh Modification of the U.S. Structure.
PennEast obtained approval from the U.S. Federal Vitality Regulatory Fee to construct the pipeline from Pennsylvania to New Jersey in January 2018 and promptly sued in federal district court docket to make use of the federal authorities’s eminent area energy to realize entry to 131 properties alongside the route in New Jersey beneath the U.S. Pure Fuel Act.
New Jersey, which opposes building of the pipe, didn’t consent to PennEast’s condemnation fits on 42 of the 131 properties it controls. The state holds possessory pursuits in two of the properties and non-possessory pursuits in the remaining, most frequently by easements requiring the land be preserved for leisure, conservation or agricultural use.
PennEast wants the land to construct its 120-mile (190-km) pipeline, which is designed to ship gasoline from the Marcellus shale formation in Pennsylvania to clients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
The Third Circuit determination reverses an earlier district court docket ruling that had allowed PennEast to sentence the state managed properties.
“We won’t hesitate to face as much as non-public firms when their actions violate the legislation—or, on this case, the U.S. Structure,” New Jersey Legal professional Common Gurbir Grewal stated in a press release.
Patricia Kornick, a spokeswoman for PennEast, stated the corporate “will evaluation the Third Circuit Court docket’s opinion and decide what our subsequent steps might be.”
She stated the corporate anticipates beginning building on the pipeline in 2020.
The businesses searching for to construct PennEast embrace items of New Jersey Assets Corp (NJR), South Jersey Industries Inc (SJI), Southern Co, Enbridge Inc and UGI Corp.
The businesses with contracts to make use of the venture embrace items of NJR, SJI, Southern, Public Service Enterprise Group Inc and Consolidated Edison Inc.
Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Modifying by David Gregorio