Mo. court blocks eminent domain by port authority

May 28, 2013

Credit David_Shane / Flickr

A Missouri Supreme Court ruling has essentially scuttled a project to ship crude oil from North Dakota through a Mississippi River port in southeast Missouri.

The state's highest court ruled Tuesday that the Southeast Missouri Regional Port Authority cannot use eminent domain to take 30 acres of land in Scott County. The port authority had hoped to lease the land to a company that would build large storage tanks there.

The court said the condemnation violated a 2006 state law prohibiting eminent domain from being used solely for economic development purposes.

Dan Overbey is executive director of the port authority. He says the court ruling essentially puts an end to a project that could have resulted in a $20 million investment and 30 to 40 jobs.