Pipeline Ownership

A federal judge found that the Department of Interior erred in assigning 12 rights-of-way to a pipeline operator rather than its business partner, making it liable for the costly enterprise of maintaining the pipelines. The pipeline operator is entitled to an opportunity to be heard before the department makes its decision about the firm’s property rights and obligations.

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Burst Pipeline

An appeals court in California reversed a ruling in favor of Plains Pipeline, whose pipeline ruptured at Refugio State Beach in 2015, in a dispute brought by the State Lands Commission, which claimed the company’s negligent maintenance disrupted payment of royalty income to the commission and caused damages to improvements on its land. Although designated as a public utility, the company is not exempt from liability.

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