During the course of pipeline construction, it is likely that the building team will need to either acquire land or get permission to use land that is in the path of the pipeline. There will likely be a person designated to handle the process of right-of-way acquisition for the pipeline.
What exactly does this process look like? Here’s a quick overview of what you can expect when performing pipeline right-of-way acquisition in Texas.
Like with any other type of project, its success in the long term depends on the quality of the planning you do at the outset. You should make sure you identify any potential issues and challenges right away to give yourself enough time to overcome them and to form strategies for dealing with landowners early on. Obviously, the ideal situation to be in would be a straight pipeline that can run right from point A to point B with no obstacles or other landowners to deal with, but that simply doesn’t happen very often.
Once you’ve developed the initial framework of a plan for the pipeline, you can then begin to identify landowners in the area. You’ll need to go to the local office that has this information, whether it be a local municipal office or a county appraisal office. Depending on the location, it might be easy or difficult to access the information you need about who owns which parcels of land. You’ll also want to specifically get information about easements and rights of way.
The next step is to actually reach out to these landowners, explain the project you are working on and request a meeting. You’ll need their permission to gain access for your proposed route. You’ll want to get a survey done on the property, but you’ll need landowner permission to do so. You should do everything you can to make the landowners comfortable with how you’ll be using the property. It can help to have surveyors stake out the route—this gives you an idea of whether or not the route will be a good one, and also gives the landowner an idea of the kind of disruption it will temporarily cause to the property.
Depending on how your meetings go, you may need to come up with some alternate route options. There are some landowners who will be very hesitant to allow work to be done on their properties, and you’ll need to respect that.
Before you can begin work on the project, you’ll need to confirm ownership of every tract of land you’re working on by searching for deed records at the local county clerk’s office. Even though you’ve got permission from the landowner to begin work, it’s important that you double check to make sure you’ve got all the landowner information correct.
For more information about the process of pipeline right-of-way acquisition in Texas and the steps you can take to make it go as smoothly as possible, contact D.G. Smyth & Co., Inc. today.