Gary and Michelle Erb

The bluffs overlooking the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County, have for centuries been “a region noted for the grandeur and beauty of its landscape scenery.” Those same qualities attracted Gary and Michelle Erb in 2008. The Erbs purchased a 72-acre tract of land, about a mile east of the Susquehanna, and built their dream home.

Gary loves to hunt, and the forested part of the property is, in his words, a “deer paradise.” Another part of the land is set aside for farming; Gary and Michelle rent out a farmhouse to a tenant who grows soybeans and corn. For years, their plan was to build another home on one of three developable plots of land on their property so they and their three adult sons could all live together on the homestead.

That all changed in 2015. That spring, the Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company (Transco) applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for authorization to build its Atlantic Sunrise Project—a natural gas pipeline running through Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and the Carolinas.

  • March 13, 2019    |   Private Property

    Pennsylvania Pipeline Eminent Domain

    Pipelines & Eminent Domain: Take Now, Pay (Much) Later

    Pipeline companies create an essential part of America’s energy infrastructure, but their power is supposed to be limited. As documented below, however, the power of pipeline companies to take people’s private property is anything but limited:  It is a power that is systematically abused by pipeline companies across the nation. Worse yet, the courts—rather than…

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