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“Having carefully reviewed the parties’ submissions, and in light of the facts and circumstances in this case,” Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange wrote in the 10-page decision for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, “the court finds that a permanent injunction should be entered in this case. Specifically, it is plaintiffs’ interests in the exclusive possession of their land which has been invaded by the presence of the pipeline and defendants’ continued use of the pipeline.
Since the granting of the original 20-year easement to Producer’s Gas Company back in 1980, many of the landowners, who are primarily citizens of the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache Tribes, chose not to renew permission for Enable Midstream Partners, Enogex’ successor, to encroach on their private property — but the company opportuned the fact the ambivalence hasn’t been unanimous.
Court documents disclose the original parties to the easement were each paid $1,925 in compensation for the natural gas pipeline to traverse the 137-acres of land, individually, a 0.73-acre segment of their property.
“After the easement expired in 2000, they were offered $3,080 for another 20-year lease, according to the documents. But a majority of the allotment’s owners never agreed to the proposed amount, which they contend was far below market value.
“Despite the lack of consent, a firm named Enogex continued to operate the pipeline, which is part of a larger network of gas transmission lines in Oklahoma. The trespass continued even after the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 2010 told the company to reach an agreement or stop using the land.”
Despite that assertive demand, the BIA proceeded to accept $1,098.35 in payment for the easement from 2000 until 2002. Worse, Indianz.com notes, the BIA continued to accept payments from Enogex through 2006 — but didn’t bother consulting landowners about the arrangement.
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/judge-orders-removal-pipeline-native/#LrdZ2dQ9mq8w6JrK.99