|Case Forum:||United States District Court (Eastern District)|
|Keywords:||rights of way, right of way, ROW, pipeline, Michigan Constitution|
John H. Bauckham (P10544) | Bauckman, Sparks, Lohrstorfer, Thall, & Seeber, P.C. | 458 West South Street | Kalamazoo, MI 49007-4621
LDF joined the Michigan Townships Association (MTA) brief
Defendant is required to obtain a township’s consent pursuant to Article 7, Section 29 of the 1963 Michigan Constitution and MCL 247.183 prior to constructing its pipeline within or across a public road right-of-way within that township. While federal law does not assert regulatory authority as to the location and routing of crude oil and petroleum pipelines, the State of Michigan has for many years chosen to exercise such authority. Under Act 16 of 1929 (MCL 483.1 et seq), the Michigan Public Service Commission (“MPSC”)3 was given broad regulatory authority with respect to the route, location and capacity of crude oil and petroleum pipelines and their appurtenant structures. Township consent is not required to place a pipeline within or across a limited access highway or that portion of a public road right-of-way that intersects a limited access highway at a different elevation. However, if the public road is not a limited access highway or a portion of a public road right-of-way that intersects a limited access highway at a different elevation, then Article 7, Section 29 of the 1963 Michigan Constitution and MCL 247.183 would require township consent prior to construction of a pipeline within or across the public road right-of-way.
|MSC requested LDF amicus brief?||No|
Plaintiff Protect Our Land And Rights Defense Fund (“POLAR”) is a Michigan non-profit corporation whose members, according to its Complaint in the within matter, consist of landowners in the counties of Livingston, Oakland, Cass, Berrien, Ingham, St. Joseph, Jackson, St. Claire and Kalamazoo in the State of Michigan. Plaintiff has brought the within suit asking in pertinent part that Defendant Enbridge Energy, Limited Partnership be enjoined from commencing or continuing its pipeline construction within the aforementioned counties until it has obtained “…all necessary and non-appealable approvals for the project, including MPSC and environmental approvals, and the appeal of any such approvals, and including county, township and municipality consents.”