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Judge: Nexus Surveyors Can Access Privately-Owned Land

Pipeline photo by Flickr.com's Vicki Watkins.
Pipeline photo by Flickr.com's Vicki Watkins.

By ideastream's Brian Bull

A Medina County court judge says surveyors for gas company Nexus can access people’s property without permission, to survey the land for possible pipeline development.  

In his ruling, Judge Christopher Collier says while the court is sympathetic to those opposed to Nexus’ presence on their properties, existing Ohio statutes do not prevent energy or utility companies from entering private land to assess it for potential tubes, pipes, conduits, and similar developments.

The defendants in this case were several Medina County landowners.  They objected to Nexus surveyors who must assess the land in order to get a federal permit to build a 250-mile pipeline that would course through 16 counties in Ohio and Michigan. 

A ruling in late July kept Nexus from sending surveyors to people’s property, until the matter was settled in Medina County Court.

Judge Collier says the court recognizes the property rights of individuals, but the ruling is based on what Ohio statutes say, not what is “fair and equitable in this instance”.

A call to the defendants’ lawyer for comment has gone unanswered as of press time. 

In an email, a Nexus representative says the company agrees with the ruling and they remain committed to working cooperatively with landowners to do the surveys.