Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 11:11AM
Clark Hill

Consumers will replace and partially reroute its pipeline in Saginaw, Genesee, and Oakland Counties.

Consumers Energy is joining the pipeline party. In the last year, I have represented property owners in pipeline projects brought by Wolverine Pipe Line Company, ET Rover, Nexus Pipeline, and DTE. Now, Consumers has filed an application before the Michigan Public Service Commission (“MPSC”) to obtain permission to engage in pipeline construction. Consumers seeks to rebuild its Line 2800 Pipeline between the company's Zilwaukee Junction in Saginaw County's Tittabawassee Township and its Clawson Control Station in Oakland County's Milford Township.

The MPSC is a state regulatory agency that oversees utility companies, including applications to construct new facilities.  Consumers’ application can be reviewed here, including detailed maps reflecting the route of the pipeline attached as Exhibit A to the application. 

The route of the pipeline is also depicted in this graphic:


There has been a lot of controversy about pipeline construction recently. The controversy is warranted given the number pipeline accidents that have occurred (for example, click here, here, here, and here to see a blog posts detailing some of them.)

On its face, Consumers appears to be acting responsibly by seeking to decommission a pipeline that has reached the end of its useful life and replacing it. As part of this process, Consumers seeks to reroute the pipeline outside existing easement rights of way near population centers in Saginaw and Flint. This will necessitate Consumers acquiring new right of way through eminent domain or voluntary purchase.

It is critical to retain experienced counsel to address these issues, both to increase your just compensation and reduce the property rights being obtained by Consumers.  This post is a cautionary tale describing what happened to an owner who declined my representation and decided to negotiate his own deal.

This post summarizes issues specific to pipeline takings. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Article originally appeared on Clark Hill Property Owner Condemnation Services (
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