The Rover Pipeline has agreed to pay $1.5 million to the Ohio state historical society as part of its effort to mitigate harm caused by construction.
An amendment to an agreement filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission states that Rover Pipeline LLC will pay $1.5 million to the Ohio History Connection Foundation on July 7.
The amendment settles a months-long dispute between the preservation office and Rover.
The preservation office argued Rover owed $1.5 million as of March 1, per an agreement signed in February saying Rover would pay the office $1.5 million a year for five years to compensate for damage to historic properties. The money was to be used to pay for statewide historic preservation education.
Rover did not make the payment, however, and lawyers representing the company filed a letter with FERC saying the company had done enough, as Rover paid $2.3 million for demolishing the historic Stoneman House near Leesville in Carroll County. The company had not notified regulators about the purchase of the historical property or its demolition until after the house had come down.
The preservation office asked FERC - the lead federal agency overseeing the pipeline project - to solve the disagreement.
Rover, FERC, the State Historic Preservation Office and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation all signed off on the amendment that mandates Rover pay $1.5 million “in full satisfaction of additional mitigation measures.” The amendment changes the language in the original agreement, which had said Rover would make payments of $1.5 million annually on March 1 for the length of the agreement.
A spokeswoman for the pipeline project confirmed the $1.5 million will be a one-time payment. Rover also will make a $250,000 donation to help fund the “Ohio as America” social studies resource.
“Rover is pleased to make these contributions to help protect Ohio’s historic resources and to provide the many educational and preservation opportunities these funds will facilitate,” according to a statement emailed to The Canton Repository.
A spokeswoman for the preservation office could not be reached for comment at the time this article was released.
This dispute was separate from penalties Rover faces for environmental damage.
Rover is building a natural gas pipeline system that will transport gas to Ohio, Michigan, West Virginia and Canada. Construction includes parts of Stark, Tuscarawas and Carroll counties.