A recent Texas Supreme Court decision on pipeline eminent domain, Hlavinka v. HSC Pipeline:
The Hlavinka family own some 13,000 acres in Brazoria County, Texas, situated near the Texas Gulf Coast directly between refinery and industrial centers. The family originally acquired this land because there are multiple existing pipelines crossing the property, for the opportunity to make money granting additional pipeline easements. At the time of trial, the land had about twenty-five pipeline easements on it, including at least two the family negotiated with other pipeline companies in recent, arms’ length transactions; the family received $3.45 million for one pipeline easement and $2 million from other pipeline companies in private sales.
In 2016, HSC reached out the Hlavinkas about acquiring an easement. After the Hlavinkas rejected HSC’s offer, HSC initiated condemnation proceedings. HSC sought to condemn a total of 6.41 acres of the Hlavinkas’ property for an easement 30 feet wide and about 1.8 miles long. The Hlavinkas sought dismissal of HSC’s suit, challenging its power to exercise common-carrier eminent domain authority.