479.48  Reversion on nonuse.

1.  If a pipeline right-of-way, or any part of a pipeline right-of-way, is wholly abandoned for pipeline purposes by the relocation of the pipeline, is not used or operated for a period of five consecutive years, or if the construction of the pipeline has been commenced and work has ceased and has not in good faith resumed for five years, the right-of-way may revert as provided in this section to the person who, at the time of the abandonment or nonuse, is the owner of the tract from which such right-of-way was taken. For purposes of this section, a pipeline or a pipeline right-of-way is not considered abandoned or unused if it is transporting product or is being actively maintained with reasonable anticipation of a future use.

2.  To effect a reversion on nonuse of right-of-way, the owner or holder of purported fee title to such real estate shall serve notice upon the owner of such right-of-way easement and, if filed of record, successors in interest and upon any party in possession of the real estate. The written notice shall accurately describe the real estate and easement in question, set out the facts concerning ownership of the fee, ownership of the right-of-way easement, and the period of abandonment or nonuse, and notify the parties that such reversion shall be complete and final, and that the easement or other right shall be forfeited, unless the parties shall, within one hundred twenty days after the completed service of notice, file an affidavit with the county recorder of the county in which the real estate is located disputing the facts contained in the notice.

3.  The notice shall be served in the same manner as an original notice under the Iowa rules of civil procedure, except that when notice is served by publication an affidavit shall not be required before publication. If an affidavit disputing the facts contained in the notice is not filed within one hundred twenty days, the party serving the notice may file for record in the office of the county recorder a copy of the notice with proofs of service attached and endorsed, and when so recorded, the record shall be constructive notice to all persons of the abandonment, reversion, and forfeiture of such right-of-way.

4.  Upon reversion of the easement, the landowner may require the pipeline company to remove any pipe or pipeline facility remaining on the property. Provisions of this chapter relating to damages shall apply when the pipeline is removed.

5.  If a pipeline right-of-way is abandoned for pipeline use, but the pipe is not removed from the right-of-way, the pipeline company shall remain responsible for the additional costs of subsequent tiling as provided for in section 479.47, shall mark the location of the line in response to a notice of proposed excavation in accordance with chapter 480, and shall remain subject to the damage provisions of this chapter in the event access to or excavation relating to the pipe is required. The landowner shall provide reasonable access to the pipeline in order to carry out the responsibilities of this subsection.

Section History: Recent form

  99 Acts, ch 85, §3, 11

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Last update: Wed Aug 16 21:03:56 CDT 2000