A land company representing landowners in Greene County recently had allegations of impropriety against a pipeline company.
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Denies Central Land Consulting LLC’s July 3, 2019 Filing Against Spire Pipeline. Central Land represents 33 landowners along the pipeline route easement from Metro St. Louis to southern Scott County. The case argued, among other things, that Spire and FERC had failed to properly review Spire’s allegations of landowner environmental non-compliance.
Landowners along the easement claimed Speyer had failed to restore the land to its near-original state, failed to restore county roads, and destroyed topsoil on farmland throughout. of bondage. WLDS reported the destruction by the Spire Pipeline of Kenny Davis’ hunting ground on the Greene-Scott County line near Alsey. The total damage Central Land says Speyer is responsible for is over $ 20.5 million.
In Tuesday’s decision, FERC called on Central Land to file an impermissible collateral attack on Speyer because it lacks standing to file a complaint. FERC says that, because none of the 33 people requested new hearings on the original complaints filed in 2018 in the Spire case, they fall outside the statute of limitations. The general limitation is 30 days.
In a concurring statement with the FERC, the new commissioner appointed by Biden, Richard Glick and commissioner Allison Clements, that this is not the end of the road for landowners to file their own complaints regarding the easement issue. Glick and Clément write: “[The] determinations [in the decision] do not prevent landowners from continuing to assert their claims before the Commission on the basis of additional arguments or evidence that they may choose to present. They go on to say that the commission has serious concerns about land restoration and will “keep an open mind” when it hears future arguments on the issue. Glick and Clements also say they are troubled by the archaic rules that lie before landowners when they seek to bring grievances to the FERC, and hope to clear up the issues for clearer remedies for grievances in the next months.
However, they believe that under FERC rules Tuesday’s hearing went smoothly and they decided to approve them. The commissioners go on to say that “the fact that we must do [the determinations] at all is a reminder that the Commission must redouble its efforts to ensure that our procedures adequately accommodate landowners and other entities who do not have the same means as pipeline developers to hire experts. FERC hopes to create a more robust Public Participation Office in the coming months to address the issue.