Eminent domain bill approved

Landowners have the ability to contest the use of eminent domain by renewable energy developers under a bill passed May 13.

<a href='http://news.legislature.ne.gov/dist43' target='_blank' title='Link to the website of Sen. Tom Brewer'>Sen. Tom Brewer</a>
Sen. Tom Brewer

As introduced by Gordon Sen. Tom Brewer, LB155 would have prohibited a private entity from using eminent domain to provide access to build transmission lines or other infrastructure related to a privately developed wind energy project.

Currently, state law authorizes the use of eminent domain in those situations because it is considered a public use.

The bill was amended on general file to define the public use aspect of such exercise of eminent domain as a “rebuttable presumption”—meaning that it may be challenged in court by an impacted landowner.

Lawmakers passed LB155 on a 44-0 vote.

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