There are three types of above ground appurtenances commonly included in pipeline easement agreements. In the video, Landowner Condemnation Rights Attorney Philip Hundl describes this equipment and their purposes. Please call or text 800-266-4870 for an appointment with Mr. Hundl.
Summary of the Above Ground Facilities Video
Today I’d like to talk about something that comes up from time to time, and requires some discussion. There is a provision in our easement agreement that talks about above ground facilities otherwise known as above ground appurtenances. We always try to work hard to limit what the pipeline company will do above ground and limit the appurtenances in the easement agreement.
However there are times when there’s no way around it. We’ve tried to push the pipeline company to move a valve site or some type of above ground appurtenance to another tract or somewhere else besides our client’s particular tract. But sometimes it’s just unavoidable that some above ground facilities will make it into the final easement agreement.
In the easement agreements that have been approved by most of the pipeline companies, there will almost always be at least three things that are allowed as above ground facilities or above ground appurtenances. Those are pipeline right-of-way markers, cathodic protection equipment (sometimes with AC mitigation equipment) and cathodic protection test leads.
We’ve all seen pipeline markers. Those will identify the company the pipeline belongs to like Kinder Morgan or Enterprise. They’re normally at the boundary line or property line to mark the pipeline easement. Pipeline markers will sometimes be just a stake with the name warning of the presence of the pipeline. The pipeline marker might be like a large PVC tube. Normally they’re white and they’ll have orange tops on them. Painted tops are blue.
Cathodic Protection Test Leads
The cathodic protection test leads will often times look just like those white PVC pipeline markers. However the cathode protection test leads have a top that pops off to access the leads. Periodically pipeline contractors check to make sure that there isn’t some corrosion within the pipe. There are some wires that will run down to the pipe and connect, and the pipeline contractor will be able to determine if there’s some corrosion going on. That’s certainly important to do so that the pipeline company can take appropriate measures to fix the problem if necessary.
Cathodic Protection Equipment & AC Mitigation Equipment
In some circumstances AC mitigation equipment and cathodic protection equipment are necessary to protect against the corrosive effects of induced electrical current in that area. The AC mitigation equipment protects against the alternating current induced in the pipeline by nearby high-voltage transmission lines. Normally this corrosion protection equipment is mounted on a short telephone pole. It requires electrical power so it will be connected with what’s called a power drop from a power line,
Our typical easement agreement will define the word, “facilities,” and say it shall not include any above ground structures, buildings, surface sites, or other above ground improvements, other than those three above ground appurtenances. We also specify that these above ground appurtenances should not be placed just anywhere. The agreement says they’ll be placed within so many feet of where the pipeline easement intersects the boundaries of the property, or in any present or future property lines or road crossings.
Locate at the Property Boundary
So, we want to try to have all of this equipment near the boundary line of the property. That way it’s not in the middle of your property and obstructing other things that you’re doing like farming or running cattle or having a hay meadow. So even if we’re successful in limiting the above ground facilities, at minimum these appurtenances will most likely be provided for in the easement agreement.
Please remember that the proposed easement agreement from the pipeline company provides for all kinds of flexibility for the pipeline company. The pipeline company’s condemnation petition is very broad and it allows for all kinds of above ground appurtenances, roads, and other changes to your property. We try to narrow that language as much as possible, but these three appurtenances are usually what the pipeline company will demand in an easement agreement.
So I want you to understand what these items are because you will likely see them on your property and I want you to be aware of that.