NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Underground pipelines have some Antioch residents considering legal action.
Residents have added landscaping and built fences, trees, and even pools on their properties, which happen to sit within the pipeline’s right of way.
Two weeks ago, those residents received a letter from CPG saying the company would need access to the pipelines for maintenance. The letter said the “Right-of-Way Agreement” prohibits the erection, construction or placement of any building, fixture, tree, fence not in compliance with Columbia’s guidelines.
The letter asked homeowners to clear the right of way before April 6, 2015, adding that the company would be willing to clear the area, but would not be responsible for any damage to those items.
Many residents say they were given permission by CPG to erect some fencing, building and landscaping, even within the easement area.
Scott Mitchell is rallying some neighbors together to consider a class action lawsuit or other legal action to stop CPG from clearing the area.
“They don’t pay my mortgage. They don’t pay my property taxes,” said Mitchell. “But they can tell me what I can and cannot have on my property.”
Mitchell, who has fencing, landscaping and a shed within the easement area, said he doesn’t mind allowing access to the pipelines. But he doesn’t want CPG to destroy his property in the process.
“As long as they put everything back the way they found it, as long as they re-sod our land, as long as they put the sheds back after they’re done, as long as they put the fences back up the way they found them, we’re okay with that,” he told News 2.
Columbia Pipeline Group sent the following statement to News 2 regarding the right of way issue:
“Columbia Pipeline Group is performing work consistent to our Right of Way agreements with landowners. Residents who live adjacent to CPG facility Rights of Way receive an annual mailing with general guidelines for safety near natural gas pipelines. This includes information as to what can be constructed on or near a right of way, activities that can take place on a right of way, etc. A sample of this brochure is attached for your reference. During recent survey and maintenance work, CPG representatives identified several encroachments on its Right of Way in Antioch, Tenn. Residents were recently notified of these encroachments. We take these situations very seriously as they are federally mandated and pose potential risks to pipeline integrity and public safety. We are committed to answering community members’ questions and working on acceptable resolutions. While we can’t get into specific claims on this project, I can tell you that we try to accommodate certain landowner requests along Right of Way, with the understanding that structures will be moved, or removed, due to needs to maintain our facilities and for public safety. “