Quantcast

FERC Again Orders Drilling Halt on Rover Pipeline Site After Another Spill

Energy

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has again ordered Energy Transfer Partners to halt horizontal directional drilling under the Tuscarawas River in Ohio at its troubled Rover pipeline project pending additional review.

The move came after Ohio regulators requested FERC order a cease of all drilling on the project after nearly 150,000 gallons of drilling fluids were lost down the pilot hole for the pipeline earlier this month.


"While our understanding is that no fluid has reached the surface, and no impacts on sensitive resources have been documented, the difficult geology at the crossing warrants investigation into other approaches prior to advancing the [horizontal directional drilling] pilot drill as well as before subsequent reaming passes," FERC Director of Energy Projects Terry Turpin wrote in a letter.

The spill occurred at the same site as a spill last April of 2 million gallons of drilling fluid. That incident also led FERC to temporarily ban Energy Transfer Partners from new horizontal drilling.

The 713-mile pipeline project, which will carry fracked gas across Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan and Canada once complete, is currently under construction by the same Dallas-based company that built the controversial Dakota Access pipeline.

In September, Energy Transfer Partners was fined $2.3 million for numerous water and air pollution violations across Ohio. Over the last two years, the Rover pipeline has racked up more "noncompliance incidents" than any other interstate gas pipeline.

According to Reuters, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has already asked FERC a few times in January to stop Energy Transfer Partners from drilling under the Tuscarawas River.

While operations are currently halted at the site, the company is seeking approval from FERC on a plan submitted on Jan. 22 to continue horizontal drilling.

But the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency countered on Tuesday that the plan "only provides temporary solutions and only suggests ways Rover may minimize expected losses if allowed to proceed. For this reason alone, Ohio cannot support the plan."

The Ohio EPA wants FERC to require Energy Transfer Partners to abandon the current installation.

But the company is more than 99 percent complete with total project construction and plans to finish Rover by the end of the first quarter.

"We have ceased operations at the Tuscarawas site. However, we are continuing our construction activities at all other locations," Alexis Daniel, a spokeswoman for Energy Transfer Partners, told Reuters.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter


mevans / E+ / Getty Images

The federal agency that manages the Great Barrier Reef issued an unprecedented statement that broke ranks with Australia's conservative government and called for urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Guardian.

Read More Show Less

A powerful earthquake struck near Athens, Greece and shook the capital city for 15 seconds on Friday, causing people to run into the streets to escape the threat of falling buildings, NBC News reported.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Golde Wallingford submitted this photo of "Pure Joy" to EcoWatch's first photo contest. Golde Wallingford

EcoWatch is pleased to announce our third photo contest!

Read More Show Less
U.S. government scientists concluded in a new report that last month was the hottest June on record. Angelo Juan Ramos / Flickr

By Jessica Corbett

As meteorologists warned Thursday that temperatures above 100°F are expected to impact two-thirds of the country this weekend, U.S. government scientists revealed that last month was the hottest June ever recorded — bolstering calls for radical global action on the climate emergency.

Read More Show Less
Rod Waddington / CC BY-SA 2.0

By John R. Platt

For years now conservationists have warned that many of Madagascar's iconic lemur species face the risk of extinction due to rampant deforestation, the illegal pet trade and the emerging market for the primates' meat.

Yes, people eat lemurs, and the reasons they do aren't exactly what we might expect.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Pixnio

By Rachael Link, MS, RD

Many types of flour are commonly available on the shelves of your local supermarket.

Read More Show Less
A visitor views a digital representation of the human genome at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Mario Tama / Getty Images

Genetics are significantly more responsible for driving autism spectrum disorders than maternal factors or environmental factors such as vaccines and chemicals, according to a massive new study involving more than 2 million people from five different countries.

Read More Show Less
Pixabay

By Emilie Karrick Surrusco

Across the globe, extreme weather is becoming the new normal.

Read More Show Less