While every state in the Union has a statute delegating in some form surveying authority to private entities, the practice has been especially visible and controversial due to pipeline construction in the Commonwealth of Virginia. A major point of contention in pipeline development has centered upon the ability of private companies to use delegated eminent domain powers to survey land for possible future development. While recent decisions by both a federal Virginia District Court and the state’s Supreme Court have upheld the state’s surveying delegation law from landowner challenges, the issue is far from resolved. Virginia therefore provides an ideal base for an examination of survey delegation laws in the modern context of utilities development.



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