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WBI Energy Transmission, Inc. v. Easement and Right-of-Way Across

United States District Court, D. Montana, Billings Division

December 6, 2019

WBI ENERGY TRANSMISSION, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
Easement and Right-of-Way Across: Township 5 South, Range 26 East Section 9 N1/2SE 1/4 in Big Horn County, Montana, Consisting of Approximately .0125 Acres, LAWRENCE FALLS DOWN, RANDY FALLS DOWN, STEVEN FALLS DOWN, LARRY LEE FALLS DOWN, VAN WADE FALLS DOWN, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, and UNKNOWN OWNERS Defendants.

          COMBINED ENTRY OF CONDEMNATION ORDER BY DEFAULT AND BY STIPULATION

          HON. SUSAN P. WATTERS UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.

         Upon consideration by the Court of the following:

a. Plaintiffs Unopposed Motion for Entry by Default of Condemnation Order;
b. Brief in Support of Motion for Entry by Default of Condemnation Order;
c. Stipulation and Consent to Judgment;
d. Statement of Stipulated Facts D.Mont.L.R. 16.2(B)(3) (Docket No. 12);
e. The record in this matter,

         And good cause appearing therefore, the Court hereby makes the following Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and entry of a Condemnation Order per 25 U.S.C. § 357 and 15 U.S.C. § 7l7f(h).

         FINDINGS OF FACT

         1. WBI Energy Transmission, Inc., d/b/a Williston Basin Interstate Pipeline Company ("WBI"), a Delaware corporation authorized to conduct business in the State of Montana, is a natural gas company within the meaning of the Natural Gas Act, 15 U.S.C. §717a(6), and is engaged in gathering, storing, and transporting natural gas in interstate commerce.

         2. WBI is the owner and operator of a 12-inch diameter natural gas pipeline located in, among places, Big Horn County, Montana (the "Pipeline").

         3. WBI seeks to condemn an easement and right-of-way for the benefit of WBI, its successors and assigns, for so long as such interests are necessary for the purposes of surveying, laying, constructing, operating, maintaining, inspecting, patrolling, testing, protecting, increasing or decreasing the capacity of, changing the characteristics and capabilities of, repairing, rebuilding, replacing, relocating, abandoning in place, removing and remediating the Pipeline as it currently exists or may hereafter be located and for such other uses and purposes as the law may require of an owner and operator of a natural gas pipeline; together with the right to construct, operate, maintain, install, replace, renew, convert and relocate on, across, or over the easement and right-of-way certain stations, structures, and equipment for transportation, storage, gathering, compressing, pressurizing and pumping, along with such other stations, structures and equipment necessary to the proper operation of the Pipeline; together with roads, trails, tracks, paths, adjoining property, airspace, and other routes and means needed to access the Pipeline by ground or aeronautically for each and every one of the foregoing purposes, reasons and uses (each of the foregoing purposes, reasons and uses relating to the Pipeline easement and right-of-way and the associated access easement and right-of-way are hereinafter referred to collectively as the "Easement") under the power of eminent domain, and to award just compensation to the owner of the condemned land.

         4. The Easement WBI seeks to condemn is 50 feet wide, 25 feet on either side of the centerline of the Pipeline as it currently exists or may hereafter be located; together with such temporary staging, workspace, and area as is reasonably necessary for the purposes of the Easement; together with secondary access easements 20 feet wide across roads, trails, tracks, paths, and such portions of the Subject Property as may be necessary for the use of the Easement, along with the airspace above the Pipeline, all of which are needed to operate and access the Pipeline for the reasons, uses, and purposes stated hereinabove.

         5. WBI is the owner of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (the "Certificate") issued February 13, 1985, by the United States of America Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") authorizing it to acquire and operate the interstate pipeline facilities previously owned and operated by Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. ("MDU") as well as to provide the certificated service previously provided by MDU under its ...


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