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March 02, 2024 Rain | 46°F
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 75C: Right of eminent domain

Section 75C. Any natural gas pipe line company may petition the department for the right to exercise the power of eminent domain under chapter seventy-nine. It shall file with such petition a general description of such pipe line and a map or plan thereof showing the rights of way, easements and other interests in land or other property which it is proposed to be taken for such use, the towns through which such pipe line will pass, the public ways, railroads, railways, navigable streams and tide waters in the town or towns named in said petition which it will cross and the extent to which it will be located upon private land and upon, under or along public ways, lands and places. Upon the filing of such petition, the department, after such notice as it may direct, shall give a public hearing or hearings in one or more of the towns through which the pipe line is intended to pass and may, by order, authorize the company to take by eminent domain under chapter seventy-nine such lands or such rights of way, easements or other interests in land or other property necessary for the construction, operation, maintenance, alteration and removal of such pipe line, compressor stations, appliances, appurtenances and other equipment along the route described in the order of the department. The department shall transmit a certified copy of its order to the company and the clerk of each such town. The company may, at any time before such hearings, change or modify the whole or a part of the route of said pipe line, either of its own motion or at the instance of the department or otherwise, and, in such case, shall file with the department maps, plans and estimates as aforesaid showing such changes. If the department dismisses the petition at any stage in said proceedings, no further action shall be taken thereon, but the company may file a new petition after the expiration of a year from such dismissal.

When a taking under this section is effected, the company may forthwith, except as hereinafter provided, proceed to construct, install, maintain and operate thereon said pipe line. If the company shall not enter upon and construct such line upon the land so taken within one year thereafter, its right under such taking shall cease and determine. No lands or rights of way or easements therein shall be taken by eminent domain under the provisions of this section in any public way, public place, park or reservation, or within the location of any railroad, electric railroad or street railway company, except that such pipe line may be constructed under any public way or any way dedicated to the public use; provided that the rights granted hereunder shall not affect the right or remedy to recover damages for an injury caused to persons or property by the acts of such company, and that such company shall put all such streets, lanes and highways in as good repair as they were when opened by such company and the method of such construction and the plans and specifications therefor have been approved either generally or in any particular instance by the department or, in the case of state highways, by the department of highways; and provided further, that natural gas pipe line companies may construct such lines under, over or across the location on private land of any railroad, electric railroad or street railway corporation subject to the provisions of section seventy-three. Rights of way, buildings, structures or lands to be used in the construction of such pipe lines over or upon the lands referred to therein shall be governed by the provisions of section thirty-four A of chapter one hundred and thirty-two and section twenty-six of chapter forty.