Landowners in Wisconsin were introduced to the
Wisconsin Easement Action Team (WEAT) during an informational meeting held in Waterloo, WI on September 13.
About 35 landowners from Fort Atkinson, Waterloo, Columbus, Marshall,
and the surrounding areas attended the meeting to learn more about the
potential expansion of Enbridge Inc. pipelines and about how it could
affect their property. One Fort Atkinson landowner said that:
"We live right beside the pipeline in Oakland Township, and we want
to know everything that's going on."
While Enbridge has yet to announce plans to pursue an expansion project,
the company began surveying land in 2014, which is why landowners opposing
a potential expansion invited those attending the meeting to join WEAT.
Mark Borchardt, a scientist working for the United States Department of
Agriculture and Marshfiled landowner who lives along the pipeline’s
current route, voiced his full support of the new organization:
“The Wisconsin Easement Action Team is our best shot [for opposing
an expansion]. We're not going to go this alone. We can get enough
landowners to say 'deal with us as a group, not individually.”
The group is modeled after the similarly named Nebraska Easement Action
Team which successfully banded together to
help stop the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline’s construction after a seven year legal battle.
Attorney Brian Jorde, who represented the Nebraska property owners’ interests during
that battle, is helping to organize this Wisconsin iteration.
“This isn't about convincing you of anything,” said Jorde.
“"You want to be sure you’re informed. It affects you
and your livelihood… It is not a stop-the-pipeline organization.
This is specifically about landowner empowerment and what you can do to
protect yourself. If this thing is coming, let's be prepared."
Enbridge’s current pipeline is 80 feet wide and traverses over 340
miles of land from Superior, WI all the way to border of Illinois. Even
without an official announcement, experts place the value of their potential
expansion through the middle of Wisconsin somewhere around $3 to $4 billion,
and Borchardt estimates that approximately 2,000 property owners live
along that stretch of land.
If you are a land owner living along the potential construction site or
are simply interested in seeking more information on the project, we encourage
you to visit the
Wisconsin Easement Action Team’s website. If you are interested in contacting Attorney Brian Jorde or one of the
other lawyers at Domina Law Group,
you can fill out our online form or give us a call at (888) 387-4134.