Frustrated FERC Gives Rover Todo List, HDD Drilling Still Blocked

Yesterday the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) sent a letter to Energy Transfer regarding the Rover Pipeline project. You may recall that Rover hit some bumps along the way in its aggressive schedule to get part of the pipeline up and running by the end of this month, and the rest operational by the end of November. In Ohio, Rover experienced a series of mishaps, the most serious of which spilled 2 million gallons of non-toxic drilling mud in a swamp near the Tuscarawas River back in April (see Rover Pipeline Accident Spills ~2M Gal. Drilling Mud in OH Swamp). An investigation by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) found the presence of diesel fuel in the drilling mud, which means the mud wasn’t so non-toxic after all (see OH EPA Says Diesel Fuel Found in Rover 2M Gal Drilling Mud Spill). Since that time, FERC has stopped all new underground horizontal directional drilling (HDD) for the Rover project. Rover has asked FERC, several times, for permission to restart the HDD work–at least in a few select locations. In this latest letter from FERC, the agency slaps Rover around and says, (1) you still can’t start HDD, (2) we (FERC) are still investigating the 2 million gallon spill, and you (Rover) are not helping–because Rover hasn’t provided key personnel for interviews by FERC, and (3) you (Rover) need to dispose of the diesel-tainted drilling mud in an approved landfill before we’ll even consider restarting your HDD activities. The letter closes with a paragraph that says, essentially, “We’re watching you.” We have the FERC letter below, with its 4-point todo list for Rover, along with analysis of the letter and the current status of Rover…

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