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Stateside: Enbridge Energy's eminent domain issue

In 2010, oil spilled into a creek near the Kalamazoo River from Enbridge Line 6b
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
Crews working this summer to collect to oil in the Kalamazoo River near Battle Creek.

Enbridge Energy is replacing one of its key pipelines that runs through  Michigan. Nearly 285 miles of new pipeline is required to replace the ruptured  line that caused an oil spill in July 2010.

Enbridge took homeowners to court in numerous eminent domain conflicts.

To further address the issue of eminent domain, we spoke with Avery Williams and Alan Ackerman. Williams provides land acquisition advice for Detroit and Ackerman represents displaced persons and businesses in court.

“Basically, the law of the state remains that if there is a public use, the government has right to acquire private property as long as it pay just compensation. The property is owner is not required to the ‘good-faith’ offer and then the condemning authority can go to court. Property owners have the right to challenge the determination of public use and where the project was sited,” said Williams.

“There is an underlying reality that public uses are subject to some regulatory agent and they control the rates,” said Ackerman.

“What drives the power of eminent domain is the determination of what is essential for the government and public,” said Williams.

For more of the guests's comments on eminent domain, check out our podcast.

There are two ways you can podcast "Stateside with Cynthia Canty"