Ohio EPA Slaps Rover Pipe with $431K Fine for Spills, Other Issues

Rover mud spill in April

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) is frustrated with Energy Transfer and its management of constructing the ~$4 billion Rover Pipeline through the state. As MDN reported in April, Rover spilled some 2 million gallons of non-toxic drilling mud (i.e. bentonite) in three separate incidents (see Rover Pipeline Accident Spills ~2M Gal. Drilling Mud in OH Swamp and Rover Update: Half of 15K Workers Now Hired, 2% Pipeline Laid). We know that the biggest spill happened in Stark County, and another sizable spill in Richland County. It appears spilling some mud wasn’t the only environmental violation. The OEPA has just assessed a $431,000 fine against Energy Transfer for “18 incidents involving mud spills from drilling, stormwater pollution and open burning at Rover pipeline construction sites have been reported between late March and Monday.” The latest mud spill happened on Monday–200 gallons in Harrison County. OEPA Director Craig Butler said, “All told, our frustration is really high. We don’t think they’re taking Ohio seriously…Normally when we have…a series of events like this, companies respond with a whole lot of contrition and whole lot of commitment. We haven’t seen that. It’s pretty shocking.” Not good news for Rover, when one of the main state regulators (that can stop the project) is leveling criticisms like that…

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