1997: Oregon lawmakers authorize $4 million in grants to fund a 60-mile natural gas pipeline from Roseburg to Coos County.
July 1999: Legislators approve $20 million for project, contingent on county voters' approval of bond to pay remaining cost of $27 million.
November 1999: Voters approve bond by 500 votes.
March 2000: Coos County replaces the consultant that recommended building the pipeline beneath state Highway 42 and chooses a new, shorter route expected to save at least $8 million.
June 19, 2003: Work begins after county commissioners choose MasTec Inc. as contractor. Bid came in $4.5 million lower than competitor.
Sept. 19, 2003: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issues first of several cease-and-desist orders against the project, demanding that streambed fractures stop and threatening fines of up to $75,000 per day. Crews drill into streambeds several times after this, and other warning letters follow.
Oct. 17, 2003: A group of Coos County landowners file a lawsuit, Yost et al vs. MasTec, alleging nuisance, trespass and negligence and seeking damages in excess of $100,000.
Nov. 30, 2003: Target date for completion of entire project, as set out in county's contract with MasTec.
Dec. 4, 2003: Coos County writes last check to MasTec.
Dec. 8, 2003: Oregon chapter of Sierra Club and citizen watchdog group Coos County Coalition sue MasTec and Coos County seeking $4.3 million in fines for water quality violations.
Dec. 15, 2003: MasTec stops most construction activities.
Dec. 18, 2003: Department of Environmental Quality fines MasTec Inc. $11,400 for water quality violations between August and October.
Dec. 17, 2003: Army Corps of Engineers advises Coos County that it will seek civil penalties of more than $1 million and perhaps many millions for Clean Water Act violations.
Jan. 7, 2004: Coos County sends MasTec a notice of default, demanding that company free county from liability in lawsuits and regulatory actions, come into compliance with state and federal laws and finish job.
Jan. 28, 2004: State Bureau of Labor and Industries alerts county that it is investigating MasTec's alleged violation of labor laws on project, a claim that could reach $8.3 million.
Feb. 25, 2004: MasTec sues Coos County, claiming county owes it $5.8 million in unpaid invoices and $4 million in change orders, plus $200,000 per day in delay costs.
March 2, 2004: Landowner Wayne West of Myrtle Point sues county and MasTec, charging the company with damaging his hay crops.
March 5, 2004: Steve and Joan Hill of rural Douglas County sue the county and MasTec, alleging damage to their shop due to shoddy construction, private nuisance, negligence and trespass.
March 9, 2004: Coos County asks MasTec to resume work on the pipeline.
April 22, 2004: Ronald and Vickie Harwood sue the county and MasTec, alleging damage to their water system.
April 14, 2004: Randy Lyles of McKinley sues MasTec, Industrial Gas Services and inspector Ron Green, alleging that Green sexually harassed her and that she was forced to falsify weather records while working on the project.
April 15-16, 2004: County and MasTec officials meet to resolve differences. MasTec seeks $32 million to finish the job, including the $17.2 million it's already received as payment. County rejects offer and asks MasTec to return to work. MasTec refuses.
April 21, 2004: County terminates contract, citing Sierra Club lawsuit, impending regulatory penalties and the labor investigation.
May 6, 2004: County countersues MasTec, seeking $8 million in penalties and claiming MasTec is in breach of contract.
May 10, 2004: County declares an emergency and announces it will bypass public bidding laws and negotiate immediately with a new contractor.
May 24, 2004: Coos County announces new contractor, Oregon-based Rockford Corp., which will be paid $3 million to do cleanup and complete the main line and two lateral lines. Commissioners say their new target date is Oct. 1.
June 2004: Work resumes.
July 2004: Coos County and MasTec agree to pay $35,000 to landowners to settle the Yost et al vs. MasTec lawsuit.
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|Publication:||The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)|
|Date:||Jul 25, 2004|
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