Land Surveys and Denying Survey Permission

DEP says PennEast did not provide enough information to evaluate permit applications

The state Department of Environmental Protection cannot complete a review of the permits necessary for the construction of the PennEast natural gas pipeline because only one-third of the landowners along the proposed route have given the company access to their properties to perform surveys.Read more …

Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

At the recent FERC scoping meeting in Nashua, an elected official from Rindge, NH reported that KM counts 73 directly affected landowners in that town, but that town officials count over 150 (using the most detailed maps that KM has supplied). Such under-counting of the total number of affected landowners by KM would certainly boost their calculation of percentage of landowners approving surveys. This is a very good reason to mistrust the unverified KM percentages.”  Read more …

Deny Survey Permission as a Sign of Opposition

TGP/KM wants access to your land to move forward with the NED project. Additionally they may reference the percentage of survey permissions received in their filings with the FERC as a sign of public acceptance of the NED project.  Sadly “no response” to a survey request letter could be counted as acceptance rather than opposition. If you are opposed, you should deny survey permission in writing to both TGP/KM and the FERC.
» Denying Survey Permission TGP
» Denying Survey Permission FERC

TGP/KM cannot survey private property without landowner permission unless they receive permission from the state government or the FERC grants a “Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity.” Until that time, landowners have the right to deny TGP/KM permission to survey property at any time, even if they have already signed a permission letter.  If you have changed your mind about allowing permission you may rescind that permission at any time.
» Rescinding Survey Permission TGP
» Rescinding Survey Permission FERC

Surveyors Spotted on Land After Deny or Rescind Permission:

The FERC wants to know about it.  Call the FERC hotline and report the intrusion.
Enforcement Hotline:
Telephone: 202-502-8390
Toll-free: 1-888-889-8030
FAX: 202-208-0057

TGP/KM contracts land agents to survey and these agents occasionally, “get the wrong address”, feel “perhaps the letter was lost in the mail”, or suggest “we’re only here to survey bats”.  Avoid conversation with any land agent other than respectfully requesting they leave your property.
» So KM surveyed your land, even though you’ve sent denial of permission letters?

Landowners often worry that denying survey permission or avoiding conversations with land agents for TGP/KM might affect their ability to negotiate for an easement should NED be constructed.  In discussions with an eminent domain attorney this topic was clearly addressed.  Landowners SHOULD NOT have conversations with TGP/KM or their land agent without an attorney present.  Anything said can be used in court even if only through casual conversation. A record should be kept of every type of communication that is received from TGP/KM.  Generally the initial consultation with an eminent domain attorney is free.  Deny survey permission and use the additional time awarded to contact an eminent domain attorney. One such firm is McLaughlin Brothers of Boston  or (617) 523-7165
» Landowner Rights (NH)
» Deny Land Survey (Just Say N0)
» Knowing and Protecting Your Rights When an Interstate Gas Pipeline Comes to Your Community

Enumerated Letters to Deny or Rescind:

Another approach for denying survey permission has been used, wherein you send a letter (either denying or rescinding permission), and enumerate reasons that you are taking this action, and send copies of your letter (either by email or regular mail) to your local, state, and federal elected officials so they know that you are against the pipeline. Here is a sample:

» Pipeline Survey Refusal Letter Template (pdf)
» Pipeline Survey Refusal Letter Template (Editable Version)

If survey vehicles are identified, record the license plates and report this possibly unauthorized trespass to your local police department. Personnel seen on existing easements should also be reported to the police as existing easement deeds restrict access and a surveyor for a private pipeline company would not fall under authorized power line personnel.

» What to expect during a land survey

Nothing on this page should be construed as legal advice; these sample letters have been offered to us by others as templates.