FERC issues warning letter on Rover Pipeline, Ohio problems 🔓

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has informed Rover Pipeline it won’t grant federal approval to begin operations until Ohio pipeline problems and spills are remediated, Kallanish Energy reports.

The notice came Wednesday in a three-page letter from FERC.

The agency that oversees interstate pipelines said Rover and parent company Energy Transfer Partners must cleanup and remove drilling muds from a site along the Tuscarawas River in Ohio’s Stark County before the natural gas pipeline can begin operations.

The companies must also restore the wetland fouled by 2 million gallons of drilling muds and fluids from horizontal directional drilling (HDD).

Rover and Energy Transfer must also remove drilling muds and fluids containing diesel fuel from two quarries in southern Stark County and monitor drinking water wells near the two quarries for two years.

Rover Pipeline has been fighting with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency over the above problems.

The state agency on Monday asked the Ohio Attorney General to file legal action against Rover Pipeline, including a civil fine of nearly $1 million for repeated environmental violations.

FERC also noted in its letter HDD remains remain suspended along the pipeline route.

A third-party contractor has been reviewing the problems in Ohio at FERC’s behest. FERC staff has been unable to determine what happened with the drilling fluids with diesel fuel because company personnel and contractors have not been available, the federal agency said.

“I am concerned that the lack of availability of Rover’s personnel and its contractors’ personnel is delaying our ability to determine the relevant facts,” the FERC letter said. The agency said it may take additional action against the company.

The $4.2 billion pipeline is under construction. The 711-mile project will carry natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays to the Midwest, Canada and the Gulf Coast. The project, with two lines each 42 inches in diameter, would move up to 3.25 billion cubic feet per day.

Rover Pipeline had been aiming to begin operations of Phase 1 of the pipeline in July or August, and Phase 2 by November. The company has indicated delays are likely.