According to statistics the pipeline company recently sent to FERC, 25 percent of property owners on the primary route have denied access. Garti said that figure does not tell the whole story because it does not include those who have neither allowed or disallowed the surveys. They should be included in the total who have not allowed access, she contended.
Garti, who suspects the pipeline company has been playing a shell game with the land survey numbers, said she would like to see FERC conduct an independent audit of the survey statistics that the pipeline planners send to the agency each month. “They have been sneaking onto people’s land in order to survey the property,” she maintained. “The pipeline company does not have the right of eminent domain so they don’t have the right to go onto anybody’s property unless the people have expressly given them permission to do surveys on their land. We have no way of knowing whether they had permission to be on the land or not. The consent forms are not publicly available (from FERC).”
JOE MAHONEY is a staff writer for The Daily Star. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.