Rover Pipeline to FERC: Please OK the Project NOW, by Dec. 31

Rover Pipeline is turning up the heat on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Rover is a $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. It is a critical piece of sorely needed infrastructure for the Marcellus/Utica industry. In July, FERC issued a favorable final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project (see Big News: FERC Grants Final EIS for ET Rover Pipeline). The only thing left is for FERC to issue the certificate that allows the project to commence. Here’s the problem for Rover: If they don’t begin clearing trees in January, they won’t be able to have the tree-clearing done in time for bat season–when federally-protected Indiana and northern long-eared bats begin to roost in those trees. Rover (indeed all pipeline and drilling companies) can’t harvest trees after March 31. The moratorium on tree-cutting lasts until Oct. 31. So Rover has three months to clear trees, and if they don’t get it done then, the project will get delayed by another full year. So Rover sent a letter to FERC on Friday asking/cajoling/pleading with FERC to issue the certificate. However, Rover is currently on the excrement list at FERC over demolishing an historic house in Ohio without getting “Mother May I?” permission first (see Rover Pipeline in Hot Water Over Demolishing Historic House in OH). We wonder if perhaps that’s one reason why FERC is dragging its feet…

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