A press release published by the Savannah Riverkeeper earlier today announced an amendment to an existing law establishing a permitting process for the use of eminent domain specifically by pipeline companies. The amendment offers a safeguard for landowners’ property rights and allows the State to have the final say about whether a project in question serves a public need.
The legislation would require pipeline companies in South Carolina to apply for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from the Public Service Commission, much like the law in Georgia, before being granted the use of eminent domain.
The bill was sponsored by Representatives Hixon (R), Corley (R), Taylor (R), Clyburn (D) and Wells (R) and is intended as follows:
So as to provide procedures for the exercise of eminent domain by pipeline companies, to provide necessary definitions, to provide certain related certification or permitting functions at the Public Service Commission and the Department of Health and Environmental Control, and to provide property owner rights and a cause of action for damages sustained by certain adjacent property of the owner of property condemned under the provisions of this act; and to designate the existing provisions in the chapter as Article 1 entitled “Gas and Water Companies.”
Citizens are urged to contact their legislators today and support the bill. A public meeting organized by Push Back The Pipeline will be held on Thursday, June 4 at 5:30pm at the Historic Home of General Samuel McGowan, 305 North Main Street, Abbeville, SC 29620.