OEPA & Rover at Odds Over Storm Water Runoff, “Fine” Now $714K

More trouble for Energy Transfer and the Rover Pipeline project as the company is working against a tight deadline to get the $3.7 billion, 711-mile Marcellus/Utica natural gas pipeline that traverses Ohio up and running this year. It appears as if the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) is hellbent on picking a fight with the project. Perhaps some of OEPA’s criticisms are justified–perhaps some are not. We’ll give you the “lay of the land” (pun intended) as we see it. Early on Rover appeared to rush too much, resulting in numerous drilling mud spills in locations where Rover was drilling underground to avoid creeks and rivers and other structures. One of those spills dumped 2 million gallons of drilling mud (i.e. bentonite) in a wetland next to the Tuscarawas River (see Rover Pipeline Accident Spills ~2M Gal. Drilling Mud in OH Swamp). Following that accident and other accidents where mud was spilled, the OEPA announced it had fined Rover $431,000. As it turns out, that OEPA claim, made by OEPA spokesman James Lee, was a little white lie (see Turns Out OEPA & Columbus Dispatch Were Lying – Rover NOT Fined). Apparently the OEPA has “suggested” such a fine, but a long process now ensues where such a fine (and the alleged infraction) are negotiated. So no, no fine has actually been assessed, yet. The James Lee from the OEPA is back, partnering up his favorite mainstream mouthpiece–the Columbus Dispatch–to claim that Rover did not plan storm water management properly and that Rover’s poor planning has resulted in heavy storm water runoff into farmers’ fields where Rover is digging trenches. So OEPA is upping their $431,000 “fine” (that’s not actually a fine, yet) to $714,000! Here we go again…

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