According to records on file with the Ross County, Ohio recorder’s office and Court of Common Pleas, AEP has filed at least five lawsuits and obtained more than fifty easements against Ross County property owners. AEP’s eminent domain activities are part of an ongoing project to construct and maintain an electric transmission line in the Biers Run Substation project.
According to public records, some of the easements give AEP
the right, now or in the future, to construct, reconstruct, operate, maintain, alter, improve, extend, inspect, patrol, protect, repair, remove, replace, upgrade and relocate within the Easement Area, poles, towers, and structures, made of wood, metal, concrete or other materials, and crossarms, guys, anchors, grounding systems, and all other appurtenant equipment and fixtures, and to string conductors, wires and cables; together with the right to add to said facilities from time to time, and the right to do anything necessary, useful or convenient for the enjoyment of the Easement herein granted.
Additionally, under some of the easements, the AEP eminent domain action gives AEP
[t]he right, in AEP’s discretion, now or in the future, to cut down, trim, remove, and otherwise control, using herbicides or tree growth regulators or other means, any and all trees, overhanging branches, vegetation or brush situated within the Easement Area. AEP shall also have the right to cut down, trim or remove trees situated on lands of Grantor which adjoin the Easement Area when in the opinion of AEP those trees may endanger the safety of, or interfere with the construction, operation or maintenance of AEP’s facilities or ingress or egress to, from or along the Easement Area.
These easements give broad powers to AEP. Property owners who agree to these easements may find that AEP is able to block access to their property, leave construction equipment or materials on their property, or build towers or other structures on their property. Homeowners who receive an AEP eminent domain notice would be well advised to consult with an Ohio eminent domain lawyer about possible property damage or loss of value.