Energy Transfer Partners received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on February 2, 2017, for the construction of its $4.2 billion Rover natural gas pipeline
that will move 3.25 billion cubic feet per day from
Pennsylvania to Michigan.
It should be noted that FERC did not give Energy Transfer Partners a "blanket approval" because of their "intentional demolition" of an historic house near the pipeline's route with no prior notice. FERC said the intentional act by ETP raised concerns about their compliance with environmental rules.
According to EcoWatch
, regulatory filings show that on April 13, two million gallons of drilling fluids spilled into a wetland adjacent to the Tuscarawas River in Stark County. The very next day, an additional 50,000 gallons of drilling fluids were spilled into a wetland in Richland County in Mifflin Township.
is reporting that according to a company spokesperson, Alexis Daniel, the pipeline is due to be completed by November 2017 and the spills will not change the project's "in-service date."
"Once the incidents were noted, we immediately began containment and mitigation and will continue until the issues are completely resolved," she said. Energy Transfer Partners also responded to the notice of violations
This latest challenge to the pipeline's construction is nothing new to the energy company. Besides the aforementioned demolition of an historic home in the pipeline's path, the company then had to race against the clock to cut down trees covering 3,000 acres of land just a few weeks before the bat-roosting season began.
Jen Miller, the director of the Ohio chapter of the Sierra Club
had this to say about the spills - "We've always said that it's never a question of whether a pipeline accident will occur, but rather a question of when. These disasters prove that the fossil fuel industry is unable to even put a pipeline into use before it spills dangerous chemicals into our precious waterways and recreation areas."
"Construction on the Rover Pipeline must be stopped immediately, as an investigation into Energy Transfer's total failure to adequately protect our wetlands and communities is conducted."