A Warning to Land Owners

StopPATH WV has an excellent post on the continuing AEP/FE threats to land owners along the dead PATH route.  AEP/FE have notified them that the power companies are still in control of your land.

Those people who mistakenly signed survey agreements, option agreements and final right of way agreements now find themselves at the power companies’ mercy for years on end, even though PATH has not gotten a single state approval and the federal laws under which the PATH project took shape have been rejected in federal court.

If you took your option payment and gave AEP/FE a three year option to your property, the power companies still have years to go before they have to give up their right to use your land if they want to.  According to StopPATH, many land owners in the Eastern Panhandle signed option agreements that are coming up for renewal by the power companies, and land owners can’t stop it.  Most of the PATH option agreements include a clause that AEP/FE can renew the option at their option, not yours.

Then there is the Jefferson County land owner who has already given up his land forever to AEP/FE.

There is absolutely no reason to sign anything a power company land man gives you until the PATH project has received a certificate of necessity from the WV PSC.  That remains as true now as it ever was.  You should also never sign anything a power company agent puts in front of you until you have reviewed the document with a good attorney and have made the changes that will protect you.  Better yet, if you want to voluntarily give up your rights to a legal proceeding with a jury of your peers in your home county, you should have your own lawyer draw up your own agreement from scratch and have the power companies sign your document.

Everyone who has signed up with AEP/FE and PATH are in for a long period of uncertainty where they will be jerked around for years.  That should be a warning to all other land owners who were wise enough to say “no thanks” then AEP/FE land agents came sniffing around their property.