OEPA Continues to Hunt Rover Pipe, Claims 2nd Spill Near River

Ohio EPA (OEPA) director Craig Butler, aka Captain Ahab, continues his mission to harpoon that rascally great white whale known as the Rover Pipeline. Somehow Captain Ahab, er, a, Mr. Butler has “learned” that underground horizontal directional drilling (HDD) Rover was recently allowed (by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) to resume near the Tuscarawas River (over the objections of OEPA) has “lost” 146,000 gallons of drilling mud “down hole.” This is at the same location where Rover previously lost 2 million gallons of drilling mud down hole, some of which turned up back on the surface, at a swamp (aka “wetland”) located next to the Tuscarawas (see Rover Pipeline Accident Spills ~2M Gal. Drilling Mud in OH Swamp). That 2 million gallon “spill” in April of last year triggered a shutdown of all HDD work in Ohio. It was only in December that Rover was allowed, by FERC, to resume more HDD work at the Tuscarawas site (see FERC Gives Rover OK to Resume All HDD Work, Incl. Tuscarawas River). Butler’s spies have reported to him that more drilling mud, some 146,000 gallons, has disappeared into the earth during HDD drilling at the Tuscarawas site. Some perspective on this alleged news: First, how did Butler even know of a “problem”? OEPA doesn’t regulate the Rover project! Second, since Rover doesn’t answer to OEPA (which frosts Butler), Butler runs like a tattling child to FERC with every perceived violation he can trump up–even though he doesn’t have all the facts. Third, even though drilling mud may disappear down hole, that doesn’t mean the mud comes back to the surface. Sometimes it stays down there–forever. Fourth, even if the mud does come back to the surface, drilling mud is nontoxic–the same stuff used in kitty litter, cosmetics and toothpaste. The only thing an overabundance of spilled mud can do is smother a few fish. This latest ploy by Butler to tattle on Rover to FERC is his attempt to try and manipulate FERC into shutting down Rover’s HDD work once again…

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