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article imageEnergy Transfer Partners cannot resume work on Rover Pipeline

By Karen Graham     May 26, 2017 in Environment
On Thursday, May 25, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the builder of the Dakota Access Pipeline was told by federal regulators they cannot resume construction on its other major project, the Rover Pipeline going through Ohio, at least not yet.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), was responding to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency's letter that detailed ETP's total of 18 spill incidents since the construction of the Rover pipeline began in mid-February.
Some of the major incidents included the public water system in one community being affected, 50,000 gallons of bentonite mud being released into a protected wetland area about 30,000 square feet in size in Mifflin Township, as well as a release of 200 gallons of mud in another county, reported Digital Journal on May 12.
After the Ohio EPA sent their letter to FERC, Energy Transfer Partners was fined $430,000 for damages. And on May 10, FERC ordered ETP to halt construction on any new locations and stop construction at the site of the major wetlands spill. ETP was also told they could continue work at their other sites but could not start any new operations on a list that identified eight future work locations.
Route of Rover Pipeline through Ohio.
Route of Rover Pipeline through Ohio.
Energy Transfer Partners
Energy Transfer Partners quickly fired off a letter to FERC, saying they had already started construction on two sites on the list. ETP asked that they be allowed to continue work at the Captina Creek location in eastern Ohio and the Middle Island Creek site in northwestern West Virginia, claiming that if they stopped work, it would increase the risk of another spill or other environmental damage.
However, FERC was not impressed and the agency stood firm. On May 25, regulators told Energy Transfer Partners that "the work sites would remain barred" after their own assessment showed the construction zones were stable, according to Inside Climate News.
S&P Global Platts printed part of the letter sent by FERC to Energy Transfer Partners: "Authorization to resume drilling activities in conjunction with the Rover Pipeline Project is contingent upon Commission staff's consideration of the independent third-party contractor's analysis of all drilling activity at the Tuscarawas River HDD and the independent third-party contractor's recommended plan detailing the measures that Rover can put into place to ensure that the same level of impacts do not occur on the other HDDs during project construction."
Bentonite is a clay that when mixed with water is used to cool drill heads in horizontal drilling li...
Bentonite is a clay that when mixed with water is used to cool drill heads in horizontal drilling like that being done on the Rover pipeline. It is supposed to be collected and disposed of properly.
Joshua Doubek
But now, information obtained by the Guardian indicates the spill from the Rover pipeline that regulators originally described as 2 million gallons might now be more than twice as large.
The new information was revealed in documents filed by environmental activists in a legal challenge on Wednesday against the construction of the Rover Pipeline.
“Put together how the company has conducted itself, the environmental damage and the rejection of the authority of the state, we fear the impact to our water resources,” said Clifford Rowley, a Michigan resident who is part of a group challenging the Rover Pipeline.
More about rover pipeline, FERC, Energy Transfer Partners, horizontal drilling, Wetlands
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