Two cases are pending concerning the Risberg Pipeline, a natural gas pipeline that runs from Meadville, Pa., to North Kingsville.

The legal fight started when Wood Group USA, the pipeline contractor, filed a lawsuit against RH energytrans, which operates the Risberg Pipeline, in August 2020. 

Wood Group’s lawsuit alleges that RH energytrans failed to approve more than 200 change orders, and owes Wood Group more than $35 million, which includes the agreed-upon price for construction and increased costs caused by change orders.

RH energytrans’ response denied the accusations, and claimed that Wood Group owed $1.5 million for failing to complete the project on time.

Mediation was attempted between the two parties in that suit, but was not successful, according to court records.

RH energytrans sued Wood Group in Ashtabula County in November 2020, claiming that Wood Group improperly filed mechanics lien affidavits, claiming a lien on property in Ashtabula County. Court filings by RH claim that the liens were filed late and are invalid, due to the pipeline being classified differently than Wood Group claims.

Wood Group’s response denied that the liens were filed late, and asked for the liens to be declared valid and enforceable. Wood Group also asked for attorney fees and costs.

Dennis Holbrook, a spokesperson for RH energytrans, said the Ohio case is a straightforward legal question about which category best applies to the pipeline.

“We felt the liens were not properly filed in Ohio, so we’re separately seeking judicial review of that,” Holbrook said.

Mediation is also scheduled for the Ashtabula County case. Holbrook said he does not believe the mediation will be successful in the county case either.

“I don’t know, in that case, what there is to mediate,” he said.

Holbrook said the company brought in another contractor to restore the environment over where the pipeline was placed. All of the areas where the pipeline was buried have been restored, and RH energytrans is waiting to see if the plants survive the winter.

“We really do appreciate the patience of the folks we’ve been working with, in Ohio in particular, and regret any inconvenience that any of this has caused them,” Holbrook said. “But we are, as we pledged to them, making a good-faith effort to try and get those matters cleared up as quickly as possible.”

Wood Group USA did not return a request for comment.

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