Dealing with right-of-way and easement agreements can be an intimidating and challenging process for many landowners. While wind, gas, oil, solar, and cell towers provide irreplaceable services to homes and businesses all across the United States these also place a burden on the land. Because many of these facilities must be constructed upon privately owned land, easement agreements are required.
An easement in its simplest form, allows a person to use a land of another person. Examples of arrangements that may require an easement are to lay a pipeline, install a tower, wind farm, or solar panel array. Prior to any construction, the landowner and person seeking the use of the property need to agree on the use. The use of the property is usually documented in the form of an easement. The easement agreement will provide for several events such as access, construction space, damages and restoration, insurance, duration, and lease amount. Eventually, the easement agreement may also address the removal of the installation once the need for the use is no longer necessary.
Let’s consider a natural gas pipeline as an example. Most gas leases allow the gas company to run pipelines across your property when a well or production unit is located within your property boundaries. A surface right agreement may be required. Even if the surface right agreement is not required, a damage agreement may be required. Additionally, transporting third-party or foreign gas across the landowner’ property may require a separate written agreement in the form of an easement. Figuring out the authority of a pipeline company to install pipelines under your existing gas lease is often the most important step in establishing leverage when right-of-way agreements are presented.
As a landowner, it is important to understand that you may have the right to decline any proposed easement agreement that fails to provide compensation, property protection, or insurance against future liability. No landowner should consult with an attorney when an easement agreement is offered to determine their individual rights related to their property.
Michael McCann is an experienced attorney that can help you analyze the complex situations that are included with wind, solar, tower and pipeline issues to ensure you achieve the most favorable outcome possible. If you need assistance with your right-of-way agreement call McCann Law at (918) 216-0825 or request a consultation today.