FERC Issues Rover 8 Commandments to Restart Horizontal Drilling

Rover is a $3.7 billion, 711-mile natural gas pipeline that will run from PA, WV and eastern OH through OH into Michigan and eventually into Canada. While Phase 1A of the pipeline is essentially done and ready to begin service by the end of this month (see Rover Pipe Ready to Flow! Seeks FERC Permission for Aug 31 Start), other important parts of the pipeline are not done. If Rover wants the entire pipeline to be up and running by the end of the year, they must restart underground horizontal directional drilling (HDD) in various locations where it is now stopped. 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). Rover believes sabotage may have been the cause (see ET Says Accident or Anti Sabotage Caused Diesel in Rover Mud Leaks). Since April, FERC has blocked all new underground HDD for the Rover project. Rover has asked (begged, pleaded) FERC, several times, for permission to restart the HDD work–at least in a few select locations. In July FERC gave Rover an initial todo list to get back in its good graces, but still would not lift the ban on HDD (see Frustrated FERC Gives Rover Todo List, HDD Drilling Still Blocked). FERC has finally responded with a list of eight (big) things Rover must do before HDD drilling can restart. We call them FERC’s Eight Commandments…

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