Rover Gets Serious About Mud Spills, Asks FERC for OK to Drill

While reviewing documents filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the Energy Transfer Rover pipeline project, we came across a letter filed by ET yesterday. The letter (full copy below) addresses the recent “inadvertent return” (i.e. major leak) of 2 million gallons of drilling mud in a swamp next to the Tuscarawas River (Stark County, OH). Following that leak and other leaks, FERC told Rover to stop any new underground drilling not already under way (see FERC Slaps Rover Pipeline with Stop Drilling Order). In yesterday’s letter, Rover says they have hired a new firm, GeoEngineers, to review all of the plans and data around drilling horizontally underground (horizontal directional drilling, or HDD) in locations where you can’t dig a trench. Rover is also posting GeoEngineers personnel at each HDD location, to help supervise HDD activities. But wait, there’s more! Rover is hiring extra watchers at each HDD location to watch for the first signs of, the first bubble, that indicate drilling mud isn’t staying underground where it belongs. Given all of what Rover is doing (there is more, read it in the letter), Rover then goes on to ask FERC, can Rover please please please drill in two spots where all of the equipment is ready to go? Those spots are Captina Creek in Belmont County, OH, where Rover wants to complete the Clarington lateral, and Middle Island Creek in Tyler County, WV, where Rover wants to complete the Sherwood lateral. Rover argues it will do more harm to the environment to pull down erosion control devices and move equipment out and back in, than if they just went ahead and did the work now. Will FERC agree?…

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