If you are a land owner who has been approached by AEP/Allegheny about giving up your land to their PATH power line, this page is here to help you.
First, you do not have to talk to anyone from the power companies if you don’t want to. If the power companies get a certificate of need from the WV PSC on
February 24, 2011 July 28, 2011, only then can you be forced to start talking to them.
Second, in all negotiations with the power companies about your land, you should hire a lawyer to advise you. You may need to pay him/her some money initially, but you should include the full amount of your legal costs in all damage claims you make in the right-of-way negotiations with AEP/Allegheny.
Their land agents will contact you to ask if you will sign an agreement to allow the power companies to enter your land to start surveying. Later these land agents will offer you money to get you to sign an option agreement granting the power companies a right-of-way for the PATH power line. If you sign this option agreement, you will be giving the power companies a right-of-way for PATH and you will be giving up all future claims to recover damages to you, your family and your land.
The land agents will claim to be working for one of the many shell companies that American Electric Power (AEP) and Allegheny Energy (Allegheny) are using to build the PATH power line. These land agents are also just contractors in the process.
You should be aware that in a similar power line case in 2008, almost all land owners in the Halleck community in Monongalia County refused to negotiate with Allegheny for their TrAIL power line. Because those land owners remained united and strong, the TrAIL line was moved out of their community.
AEP/Allegheny have filed a Code of Conduct for their land agents, which they claim they will obey. This Code of Conduct has no force of law, but all violations of this Code of Conduct by land agents should be immediately reported to:
Byron Harris, WV Consumer Advocate 304-558-0526
John Auville, PSC Staff Attorney 800-344-5113
By reporting violations, you will be helping to stop the PATH line from getting a certificate of need, preventing the power companies from being able to legally seize your land through the power of eminent domain.
The following links will provide land owner information that has been featured on The Power Line over the past year: