How to rescind permission to survey

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Land agents for the Williams company have been contacting LaRue County property owners, seeking permission to survey or run a section of the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline across their land.

Tom FitzGerald, Director, Kentucky Resources Council, Inc., provides the following information:

The Council recommends that landowners do not sign any document granting permission to survey, or any easement, without first consulting a lawyer.

The Bluegrass Pipeline project proposes to build a pipeline to transport “natural gas liquids” (NGLs) from Ohio and Pennsylvania to the Gulf region, where the liquids will be “fractionated” to separate out the hydrocarbons for export or use. Natural gas liquids are flammable petroleum hydrocarbons that include ethane, butane and isobutane, pentane, and propane.

While the exact location of the proposed pipeline, which will run from northern Kentucky and will tie into an existing Texas Gas transmission line in Hardinsburg, has not been established, representatives of the project sponsors (Williams Company and Boardwalk) have been approaching landowners in the counties through which the pipeline would be laid, which could include Bracken, Pendleton, Grant, Harrison, Owen, Scott, Henry, Franklin, Woodford, Shelby, Anderson, Spencer, Bullitt, Nelson, Meade, Breckinridge, Hardin and LaRue counties.

How to withdraw or rescind permission
If you have given permission rather than making a written contract giving permission in return for payment or other “consideration,” you can rescind that permission at any time. A letter sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, is recommended, so that you have proof that the mail was delivered. If you have accepted a gift as part of the grant of permission, you should return that with the letter rescinding permission. Your letter can be straightforward, stating simply that:

“This letter provides notice that the permission to survey my land that I previously granted is withdrawn and rescinded effective (date). Bluegrass Pipeline Company, LLC and its successors, assigns, affiliates, agents, employees, and contractors, and including your company and its representatives, no longer have my permission to perform any surveys, or to enter onto my land for any reason or at any time.”

Send your rescission of permission letter by first-class mail, certified, return receipt requested, to the name and address on the card from the land agent who contacted you; Williams Company President Alan S. Armstrong, One Williams Center, Tulsa, OK 74172; and C T CORPORATION SYSTEM, Registered Agent for Bluegrass Pipeline Company, LLC, 306 W. MAIN STREET, SUITE 512, Frankfort, KY 40601

What if you don’t want the pipeline to cross your land?
If you don’t want the pipeline to cross your property, don’t grant permission to survey. While it is not yet settled that this pipeline project has the power to condemn easements in order to locate the proposed pipeline, generally companies would rather work with landowners willing to sell an easement than to pursue condemnation. If you would rather not have the pipeline on your property, “just say no” to a request to survey your land, since the survey is the first step to the company narrowing down the precise location of the pipeline. If you say “no,” it is more likely that the company may choose a different route with less opposition from landowners.