Entrega negotiates surface agreements
Entrega Gas Pipeline Inc. successfully has negotiated agreements with 50 of the 52 private property owners in the first 132-mile stretch of the proposed pipeline route.
The final two are Moffat County landowners. One is the subject of condemnation, and the other could not come to an agreement with pipeline officials.
“One prospective owner didn’t want to strike a fair deal — he wanted too much money,” Land Acquisition Coordinator Denny Needham said.
He said condemnation is the absolute last resort.
“We really hate doing that,” he said.
The other situation is considered a “friendly condemnation,” Needham said, because there were 13 owners, and not all of them could be found to sign a contract.
In a case of condemnation, a judge determines the value of a property owner’s loss.
Needham could not release the names of the property owners.
Entrega is proposing to build a 327-mile pipeline starting near Meeker and ending outside of Cheyenne, Wyo. Construction on the $680 million project is expected to begin in August, pending the issuance of a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission certificate of approval.
Needham has been working since last August to negotiate surface-use agreements with 52 landowners along the 136-mile “segment 1” phase of the project.
Needham said that there is no formula for a surface agreement.
“Each one is a total entity unto itself,” he said, “because each property owner will have their own particular concerns about how they want their property treated.”
Property owners receive compensation based on the length of pipeline crossing their property and any crop loss. They can negotiate reimbursement for road damage or the installation of fences, gates and cattle guards.
Needham thinks the agreements negotiated were fair to both parties.
“We didn’t go through and power these through like old time companies did,” he said.
Negotiations were finished in April, right on schedule, Needham said.
Ninety-four percent of the pipeline runs through an existing pipeline corridor, so most landowners already have two to four pipelines crossing their property.
“Most landowners are fairly well-versed about the issues they need to be concerned about,” Needham said.
When the pipeline is buried, Entrega is required to restore the property to its original condition.
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