A federal judge late Wednesday dismissed two lawsuits from Virginia landowners related to the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline that claimed the state survey permission law violated the U.S. Constitution.
Judge Elizabeth K. Dillon of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia ruled in favor of motions to dismiss the lawsuits from the Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC and the Virginia Attorney General’s office.
“A landowner does not have a property right to exclude an authorized utility from entering his property for survey purposes,” Judge Dillon wrote in her opinion.
Jim Norvelle, the director of communications for Dominion Energy, said in a statement that the company “always believed that the Virginia law is consistent with the U.S. Constitution and allows surveys with proper notification and landowner protections. Yesterday’s ruling affirmed that belief and our actions.”
“ACP has followed the procedure as laid out in the Virginia law to survey the best route with the least environmental impact. The Virginia law allows survey only as necessary to meet regulatory requirements,” Norvelle said.