Judge orders pipeline contractor to pay penalties

As a result of a lawsuit filed by the Sierra Club, MasTec Inc., a contractor that was fired after being hired to build a natural gas pipeline from Roseburg to Coquille,  has been ordered to pay $1.5 million in penalties to the U.S. Treasury because of damage caused to pristine streams and rivers.  U.S. District Judge Michael Hogan issued the order despite finding that government agencies provided inadequate oversight of the $51 million project.

The project was dogged with problems since the summer of 2003, when work began on the 60-mile long, 12-inch pipeline. Crews filled streambeds with drilling spoils, threatening fish habitat. Regulators later discovered that project managers had not taken adequate steps to protect hillsides from erosion, leading to more sediment in fish spawning habitat.

Read more more about the decision in today’s Oregonian.

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