The federal government and landowners have reached agreements for the purchase of 1,400 acres at the Flight 93 crash site in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. As a result, the government will not take those properties with its power of eminent domain. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar stated the property owners would be paid a total of $9.5 million.
The potential use of eminent domain has been very controversial. Negotiations between the Park Service and the property owners lasted several years. Secretary Salazar and Sen. Arlen Specter met with landowners last spring demonstrating the amount of attention given to this project.
However, not all of the property owners reached final agreements with the federal government,. The federal government through the U.S. Department of Justice has initiated eminent domain proceedings to take land owned by one property owner, Svonavec, Inc. However, that property owner will not contest the taking and will use the eminent domain process to determine the amount of “just compensation” to be paid.