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Supreme Court Denies Appeal of Eminent Domain for Mountain Valley Pipeline

Mountain Valley Pipeline Construction, Giles County
Mountain Valley Pipeline Construction, Giles County (Photo: Karolyn Givens)

The United States Supreme Court this week has refused to hear an appeal from Southwest Virginia landowners whose land was seized to build the Mountain  Valley Pipeline.  It is another effort on the part of landowners to oppose the pipeline and its impact.

About a dozen landowners were hopeful the court would overturn a ruling by a federal judge that gave Mountain Valley immediate possession of about 300 properties and allowed tree-cutting to begin.

"It’s a practice known as take first, pay later," said Attorney Christopher Johns. "The law allows the question of how much the landowners should be compensated to be put off until a later date."

Johns’ client is Karolyn Givens and he took her case to the Supreme Court

"It is dead wrong to take somebody’s land, damage it and then walk away and leave it without just compensation for the owner," Givens said.

Johns says the property owner may never recover damages and it is a basic constitutional issue the Supreme Court should consider.

Construction has stopped while the Fourth Circuit considers endangered species.   And a protestor chained himself to a helicopter in Montgomery County Monday not far from the proposed crossing.