MD Attorney General files motion to dismiss Columbia Gas lawsuit

Maryland

The lawsuit follows the unanimous vote by the Maryland Board of Public Works against allowing the Potomac Pipeline to be drilled under the Western Maryland Rail Trail.

HANCOCK, Md. (WDVM) — Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh moved to dismiss the federal lawsuit filed by Columbia Gas to run a natural gas pipeline through Western Maryland.

This lawsuit followed the unanimous vote by the Maryland Board of Public Works against allowing the Potomac Pipeline to be drilled under the Western Maryland Rail Trail.

Columbia Gas obtained a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which nominally gives it the power to condemn property. Although the CPCN authorized the construction of the pipeline, the state argues in its motion that the 11th Amendment prevents a federal court from ordering the state to grant the easement.

“It violates the 11th Amendment that states we can’t be sued by a private individual in federal court and in this case, they do not have the power to condemn state land that is owned by the state and use it for their pipeline,” said Frosh.

The attorney general filed the motion to dismiss the lawsuit on Monday.

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