Land use easement for soil

Helping my aging parents navigate this offer - they own land in Wetzel county and EQT has approached them to use part of their land for dumping soil from another operation in the vicinity. We negotiated the amount per acre to ~$7k but I have concerns about this - is it too good to be true?

The contract reads that they are allowed to drill wells, pipelines, etc. but we are not the sole owners of mineral rights and they assured us they would only be storing soil on the land and it wouldn’t cause pollution or erosion concerns to the area. Has anyone encountered a situation like this before? Should I reach out to an oil & gas attorney? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Would recommend getting qualified legal advice- at least scan some of the WV Minerals websites- esp. those forums (like this one) for specific contract clauses that will protect your exposure to pollution liability; indemnity by EQT, responsibility for clean-up and closure. You may ask about requiring a bond with you as OBLIGEE and EQT as OBLIGOR for clean-up, Environmental exposure expenses, pollution liability, etc. Don’t be a sucker. Good luck.

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What if the “soil” is contaminated by something toxic?

:grinning: Sounds just like something my dad would say!

To be sure, I would’t allow anyone to dump anything on my property without a very specific set of rules and terms that kept me from being the sucker in the deal. This has lots of orange and yellow flags in my view.

The main thing that I would look for in that agreement is limiting it to the one particular use they are asking for. The pipeline rights, well drilling rights, etc., can be given but only if they’re actually planning to use the property for those things. The trouble with giving those rights away in this agreement is that if the agreement lasts longer than anticipated, those other rights can become more valuable than they are today. Worst case scenario, the store dirt on your property for as long as the well pad or road they’re building exists, which could be decades, and then they decide they want to run a pipeline across your property. Pipeline rights can be extremely lucrative, but they’ll have yours tied up already, and won’t have to pay your (or pay you as much).

Like Michael_Brauning said, make sure to take care of liabilities. He covered that really well.

Always get more money. That’s usually the last thing I ask for. “The agreement looks good, but we need a little more money to get this done.”

Good luck, and have fun!

Appreciate the responses everyone! I will definitely ensure these suggestions are discussed as they negotiate.

The offer adds up to be around what they paid for all of the land 9 years ago (~$80k), and only uses 1/4 of the acreage albeit taking up all of the flat land. They’re getting older and I definitely don’t want them to get taken advantage of so the warnings here are very helpful.

I think looking for legal advice would be in their best interest just to be safe. Do you guys have suggestions on where to find someone reputable? What should we expect to pay for someone to review the document and provide suggestions?

My family recently sold our Wetzel minerals using a highly recommended oil and gas attorney in Fairmont. I have had 1 bad experience with EQT. My advice would be to never sign ANYTHING without having an oil and gas attorney review it and make recommendations. Additionally, EQT is making the offer to you. First offer most always is lower than what they will eventually agree to. Here is the contact for who we used who I highly recommend -

Alex Miller Miller Law Offices Fairmont, WV. 26554

Once Alex is involved he will deal directly with EQT. Never sign papers directly from the landman. Good luck!

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I noticed you’re an attorney and have had great insight in some of the posts in this forum - is this something you’d be able to help us with? More than happy to hire you than someone random I find off of Google.

Thanks, unfortunately they are not taking new cases at this time!