ET Says Accident or Anti Sabotage Caused Diesel in Rover Mud Leaks

Rover Pipeline is Energy Transfer’s $3.7 billion, 711-mile Marcellus/Utica natural gas pipeline that will run from PA, WV and eastern OH through OH into Michigan and eventually into Canada. On April 13, Rover workers experienced an “inadvertent return” of “horizontal directional drilling fluid”. That is, they sprung a leak and spilled nearly 2 million gallons of drilling mud (see Rover Pipeline Accident Spills ~2M Gal. Drilling Mud in OH Swamp). The leak did not spill into the Tuscarawas River (thankfully), but into a wetland next to the river. As we pointed out at the time, “Fortunately the primary component of said drilling fluid is nontoxic bentonite–the same ingredient used to make shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste and kitty litter.” The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) investigated the spill, following an “anonymous tip” and found the presence of diesel fuel in the spilled mud. Diesel fuel IS toxic–and its presence is not a good thing. OEPA’s testing found “very very low levels” of diesel fuel, whatever that means. Even very very low amounts are not good–and in fact are illegal. Since that time Energy Transfer has tried to figure out why there is diesel in the drilling mud–because they sure didn’t order it, and they firmly believe their drilling contractor did not add it to the mud. So how did it get there? On Friday Energy Transfer offered two theories–either an accident spilled diesel into the mud, or it was intentionally placed there by antis, as an act of sabotage. We do find it interesting that OEPA Director Craig Butler, who has been combative against Energy Transfer and the Rover project, claims an anonymous source tipped him to the presence of the mud. Was the anonymous source a whistle blower who worked for the contractor and claimed this is a routine practice? Did OEPA find diesel in unused drilling mud? Have they found the presence of diesel at ANY other locations where HDD is being used? We certainly had the thought fly through our brains, for only a moment, “What if an anti deliberately put diesel in the mud?” when this story first broke several months ago. But we immediately dismissed the idea. Not even antis would stoop so low as to poison Mother Earth to advance their cause. Or would they?…

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