BC Map 20201021 01 JB

Memphis Community Against the Byhalia Pipeline Join Fight

At Eminent Domain Attorneys of America, we have clients that need an eminent domain attorney in Tennessee. A Shelby County, Tennessee Circuit Court judge ruled Friday that Memphis Community Against the Pipeline can join the rest of the community in fighting the multi-billion-dollar crude oil Byhalia Pipeline. Judge Felicia Corbin-Johnson told the court that “It’s important that members of the community have a voice in this issue,” Byhalia Pipeline Byhalia Pipeline is a joint venture of Texas-based Plains All American Pipeline and Valero Energy Corporation. Plans for the Byhalia Connection Pipeline were made open and available to the public in 2019. The proposal calls for a 49-mile route between the Valero Memphis Refinery and a Valero facility in Marshall County, Mississippi to be taken under eminent domain. What is most controversial is that the route for the pipeline runs through several Black Southwest Memphis communities including Westwood, Whitehaven, and Boxtown. The pipeline company has filed eminent domain cases against 10 landowners in Shelby County who would not agree to sell easements on their land to the project. The company settled half of the cases outside of court, leaving two business landowners and three individual owners still facing eminent domain lawsuits. Justin J. Pearson, a co-founder of Memphis Community Against the Pipeline, MCAP, said the court’s decision is good news and means the community will have a voice in whether Byhalia Pipeline should be allowed to take land for easements for its project. “No one else in these court cases is speaking or bringing forward the arguments of the broader community of Memphis and Shelby County,” Pearson said. “The only group that’s doing that right now is MCAP. And the people deserve to have a voice in these cases supporting Scottie Fitzgerald and supporting Clyde Robinson.” Eminent domain is usually used by the government to take land from people with just compensation, but only for projects that benefit the public. The power is sometimes granted to private companies that build public projects. However, attorneys for landowners and MCAP don’t believe that Byhalia Pipeline counts as one of those companies. Corbin-Johnson will hear arguments at 11 a.m. April 23 on the question of whether Byhalia Pipeline qualifies to use the power of eminent domain. On Monday, the Shelby County Commission will consider two resolutions that would allow the company to purchase two county-owned, tax-delinquent properties for the project. At Eminent Domain Attorneys of America, our Tennessee eminent domain attorneys represent client eminent domain issues, just like the Byhalia Pipeline. Our clients are the landowners that fight for just compensation for land actively being pursued under Tennessee eminent domain laws.