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Commonwealth Court Affirms Lycoming County Ruling In Favor of UGI

As previously reported, in November 2014, the Lycoming County Court of Common Pleas granted the condemnation of a temporary construction easement to UGI Penn Natural Gas, Inc., a public utility.  As a result, UGI was allowed to use the easement to park and store vehicles, equipment and materials related to the construction and maintenance of a pipeline which is to provide gas service to the Moxie/Panda Electric Generation Plant.  Law360 reported that the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania recently issued a pair of opinions upholding the decision of the trial court.  CourtListener recently posted a copy of the opinions.  Among other findings concerning the timeliness of the landowners’ claims, the Commonwealth Court concluded that: (1) a pipeline meant to supply a power plant could constitute a public utility service; and (2) the scope of UGI’s taking was not greater than necessary to acquire the property rights in connection with the easement.  In short, the court determined that the landowners’ challenges were meritless.