CHARLESTON - EQT Gathering Equity LLC says an individual has been trespassing on its right-of-way and could be causing damages to its pipeline.

EQT is a successor-in-interest to Clayco Gas Company with respect to a right-of-way over a surface tract and conveys the right to lay, maintain and operate one eight-inch gas line across the surface tract, according to a complaint filed April 16 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.

EQT claims it also operates a pipeline known as TL-314, which is laid upon the surface tract at issue and, in some places, along the road right-of-way.

Steve Marker has excavated over and across the TL-314 pipeline as part of the construction of an access road and home site and has also conveyed his intent to continue crossing the TL-314 pipeline with heavy equipment, as well as constructing a home in an area with the lawful right-of-way for the pipeline, according to the suit.

EQT claims if Marker continues his efforts in crossing the TL-314 pipeline or interfering with the right-of-way, serious personal injury may result.

Marker and/or his agents trespassed upon EQT's right-of-way and as a result, EQT has been damaged, according to the suit.

EQT claims Marker has encroached upon its right-of-way and taken actions, which alters the status quo of the TL-314 pipeline by placing crossing, excavating over and across the pipeline and within the right-of-way of the pipeline as part of the development of the surface tract.

If Marker wishes to continue to cross the TL-314 pipeline, in an effort to avoid serious property damage and/or serious personal injury or death and to maintain the integrity of the pipeline, a proper pipeline crossing or relocation is necessary, according to the suit.

EQT is seeking the court to grant a temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction requiring Marker and/or his agents to cease and desist from engaging in any further surface activities upon, over, under or related to the pipeline and from any activity related to the construction of a home within the right-of way of the pipeline; grant a permanent injunction against Marker as a request that he be required to pay for the remedial measures to be undertaken to bury and/or relocate the pipeline; grant declaratory judgment against Marker for him to refrain from encroaching upon the right-of-way; grant judgment against Marker for trespassing and award EQT pre- and post-judgment interest. EQT is being represented by Stephen E. Hastings and David K. Hendrickson of Hendrickson & Long PLLC.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia case number: 2:13-cv-08059

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