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Posted January 10, 2013 | comments Leave a comment

Suit over Dominion Power plant easement dismissed

By Joe Beck

A lawsuit by Columbia Gas Transmission LLC to gain access to land in Warren County for a natural gas pipeline ended Tuesday with a dismissal order issued by U.S. District Judge Michael F. Urbanski.

Urbanski dismissed the suit at the request of Columbia Gas and defendant Cedarville LLC.

Urbanski's order came after both parties reached an informal agreement in early December resolving the dispute and after Urbanski issued a partial summary judgment order, also in December, granting Columbia access to Cedarville's land through an easement. Urbanski had left the case open to allow the two sides to resolve how much Columbia should pay Cedarville for the easement.

A right-of-way agreement filed Jan. 2 in Warren County Circuit Court shows Cedarville is to receive $700,000 from Columbia for the easement. The right-of-way is designated as a strip of land 50 feet wide with 25 feet on each side from the center of the pipeline, according to the agreement.

Merle W. Fallon, Cedarville's attorney from Warrenton, said the litigants had reached the agreement prior to Urbanski's summary judgment ruling in December, "but it just took a month to work out the details."

Travis A. Sabalewski and Justin M. Sizemore, both of Richmond, represented Columbia Gas.

Columbia sought access and possession of the Cedarville land to allow for the building of a natural gas pipeline that would serve a Dominion Virginia Power natural gas-fired plant under construction.

Cedarville was the last of three defendants in the case. Rappahannock Electric Cooperative and E.I. Dupont de Nemours, which also own land through which the pipeline will run, had already reached agreements with Columbia for access to the property.

The 24-inch pipeline is to run 2.47 miles through Cedarville land to the power generation plant, according to a certificate for construction granted to Columbia by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com

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