Rep. Chris Quinn (R-Delaware) recently introduced a Landowner Bill of Rights that would allow property owners to better understand their rights during eminent domain negotiations.
House Bill 2609 would require the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General to create a brief document to clearly outline the rights and responsibilities property owners have during any land acquisition negotiations where eminent domain is being used. Quinn introduced the legislation after hearing from many residents that they felt pressured to give up easements and other land rights during the early stages of the Mariner East 2 pipeline project.
“Unfortunately, too many residents do not understand the laws and their rights in these situations,” Quinn said. “By having a resource available to residents that clearly outlines their rights, they will be more prepared and empowered to negotiate in their own best interest. Without this information, people can feel overpowered by land agents or others, leaving them with a sense of helpless and dissatisfaction. Ultimately, this bill is about empowerment through information.
“Under current law, information is not readily accessible to the public. I want to ensure more clarity and transparency, so property owners know exactly what their rights are,” he added.
Quinn said eminent domain is an issue Pennsylvanians from across the state have had to deal with and his bill is not specifically targeting Sunoco. He added that the information provided by the attorney general would assist all residents and ensure that everyone is negotiating in good faith.