OH Judge Tosses AG’s Lawsuit Against Rover Pipe Enviro Violations

In Nov. 2017 the Ohio Attorney General’s office under then-AG Mike Dewine (RINO swamp dweller, now governor) sued Energy Transfer at the prompting of the Ohio EPA claiming the company’s Rover Pipeline project was guilty of “polluting state waters while constructing a natural gas pipeline across Ohio” (see OH EPA Director Manipulates Atty General to Sue Rover Pipeline). A Stark County judge on Monday threw out the case.
Continue reading

ET Still Fighting Ohio AG re Rover Pipe Enviro Violations

Ohio’s current Governor, Mike DeWine, is an establishment-type swamp dwelling Republican. DeWine was Attorney General for Ohio in November 2017 when he was manipulated into suing Energy Transfer claiming the Rover Pipeline project was guilty of “polluting state waters while constructing a natural gas pipeline across Ohio” (see OH EPA Director Manipulates Atty General to Sue Rover Pipeline). The lawsuit has essentially gone nowhere since that time.
Continue reading

PA Gov Wolf Declares War on ET/Sunoco – No New Pipeline Permits

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has just declared full-on war with Energy Transfer and its Sunoco Logistics subsidiary by directing the Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) to suspend all reviews of clean water permit applications and other pending approvals for all of ET/Sunoco’s pipeline projects in the state, including Mariner East 2 (ME2) and the Revolution pipeline project.
Continue reading

Ohio EPA Takes One More Swipe at Rover Pipe with FERC Notice

Craig Butler (aka Captain Ahab) has risen up with the Ohio EPA (aka harpoon) one last time to see if he can skewer his great white whale, the Rover Pipeline (aka Moby Dick). According to Energy Transfer Partners, builder of Rover, the Ohio EPA, which Butler heads, has filed a Notice of Violation with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as a backdoor attempt to prevent the final segments of the pipeline from going online. ET says the NOV is baseless. An ongoing delay in blocking several Rover lateral segments from going into service is causing economic harm to ET’s customers (and to ET). This isn’t the first, nor even second time Butler and OEPA have gone after Rover. It’s the upteenth time (see our Butler/Rover stories here). What’s the baseless charge this time? OEPA says Rover disposed of “spent” drilling mud containing low levels of the chemical solvent tetrachloroethene (PCE) without approval. Rover has fired back at OEPA in a letter to FERC, accusing OPEA of recycling the PCE issue after it had already been investigated and addressed…
Continue reading

Ohio EPA Continues to Hound 99% Done Rover Pipe re River Drilling

Rover Pipeline–a $3.7 billion, 711-mile natural gas pipeline that runs from PA, WV and eastern OH through OH into Michigan and on to Canada via the Vector Pipeline–is about 99% done and as of last week, most of it is now up and running (see FERC Allows Rover Pipeline Startup in Michigan, Close to 100% Done). There are still a few spots being worked on, but very few. Even though the project is on the home stretch and will be 100% done by the end of June, Ohio EPA’s Craig Butler continues to hunt Rover like Captain Ahab hunted Moby-Dick. He can’t leave it alone. Obsessed. In February Captain Butler filed a letter with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) claiming that testing done by OEPA found the presence of very low levels of the toxic chemical tetrachloroethene (PCE) at Rover’s underground drilling site at the Tuscarawas River in southern Stark County (see Ohio EPA Continues to Target Rover Pipe in New FERC Letter). OEPA admits they can’t prove the very low levels of the compound actually came from Rover’s drilling activity–but hey, what’s proof got to do with it? Energy Transfer Partners, the company building Rover, responded by saying the PCE comes from sediment at the bottom of the long-polluted Tuscarawas River itself. On Tuesday OEPA filed another letter with FERC (full copy below) disagreeing with ET’s assessment, once again requesting FERC impose all sorts of requirements and conditions on the project–putting OEPA in charge of some of it (which is patently unconstitutional)…
Continue reading

WV DEP Orders Rover Pipe to Stop Construction for Violations

Rover Pipeline is in hot water again. This time it’s not Captain Craig “Ahab” Butler from the Ohio EPA, but the West Virginia Dept. of Environmental Protection. In a letter just released publicly (dated March 5), WVDEP slapped Rover with a “cease-and-desist” order, stopping all construction of Rover in the state, because of inspections in February that found 14 violations of water pollution regulations. The violations occurred in Doddridge, Tyler and Wetzel counties. Violations ran the range of leaving trash behind at construction sites to improper perimeter controls (no erosion devices installed) to failure to clean up the roads they used. In addition to trouble in WV, Rover is also facing new issues in both Ohio and Pennsylvania. In February heavy rains in the region caused “slippage issues” where the pipeline is being installed. Rover filed a report with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) last week to say it has eight crews working to correct slippage issues at six locations along its 51-mile Burgettstown Lateral. Here’s the latest on WV shutting down Rover, and Rover’s work to fix slippage issues…
Continue reading

Ohio EPA Continues to Target Rover Pipe in New FERC Letter

When will Captain Craig “Ahab” Butler, executive director of the Ohio EPA, realize he’s never going to harpoon his great white whale–Rover Pipeline? Captain Butler is at it again. The Ohio EPA filed a letter with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) last week claiming that testing done by OEPA found the presence of very low levels of the toxic chemical tetrachloroethene at Rover’s underground drilling site at the Tuscarawas River in southern Stark County. OEPA admits they can’t prove the very low levels of the compound actually came from Rover’s drilling activity–but hey, what’s proof got to do with it? Un-coincidentally, two Democrat members of Congress, one from New Jersey, the other from Washington State (one 560 miles away from Ohio, the other 2,400 miles away from Ohio) are asking FERC for a “briefing” on the Rover Pipeline project. Apparently OEPA couldn’t get any Ohio members of Congress to step up and pressure FERC, so OEPA went shopping for sympathetic Dems in other states who would. And oh, by the way, the Dems want (i.e. demand) their “briefing” no later than Feb. 28th…
Continue reading

FERC Gives Rover Pipe OK to Restart Drilling Under Tuscarawas River

Looks like asking “Pretty please, with a cherry on top” (along with providing requested information) works! MDN previously told you that on Friday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) asked Rover Pipeline for more information before FERC would allow the project to restart drilling under the Tuscarawas River (see Rover Again Asks FERC for OK to Restart Tuscarawas Drilling). FERC asked for a review of three different options, including drill in a different place under the river and forget about drilling for a second pipe at all. Rover didn’t like either of those options and lobbied, hard, to get FERC to allow them to restart drilling in the same place where they’ve now lost 200,000 gallons of drilling mud down hole. Rover responded (on Sunday) to FERC’s Friday request, providing the information FERC requested. Rover specifically asked FERC for permission to restart drilling by 3 pm Monday–at the original location. The Monday deadline came and went. However, something in Rover’s appeal must have convinced FERC, because the OK to restart drilling came a day later–on Tuesday. Work has now resumed at the site, much to the consternation of Ohio EPA’s Craig Butler, who continues to oppose the project…
Continue reading

Rover Refutes Ohio EPA Claim of 146K Gal. Spill @ Tuscarawas River

Yesterday we brought you the news that the Ohio Dept. of Environmental Protection (OEPA) had made claims, in a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), that Rover Pipeline’s restart of underground horizontal directional drilling (HDD) near the Tuscarawas River had resulted in a second large spill of drilling mud–146,000 gallons (see OEPA Continues to Hunt Rover Pipe, Claims 2nd Spill Near River). OEPA claims to have spies that told them that while drilling 146,000 gallons of drilling mud had disappeared “down hole.” That typically means the mud will reappear somewhere on the surface. OEPA does not regulate the Rover project–it is a FERC/federally regulated project. And that frosts OEPA’s director, tattletale Craig Butler. Except this time it appears OEPA was mistaken, or perhaps acting on bad information. According to a statement by Energy Transfer, builder of Rover, there has been no “release” or “spill” of drilling mud a second time at the Tuscarawas River site…
Continue reading

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…
Continue reading

FERC Gives Rover OK to Resume All HDD Work, Incl. Tuscarawas River

We have been waiting for this day for a LONG time. Yesterday the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order to Rover Pipeline allowing Rover to restart all outstanding underground horizontal directional drilling (HDD) projects, including the location at Tuscarawas River. All Rover HDD projects were stopped back in April following a string of “inadvertent returns” (i.e. leaks) of drilling mud, the most serious being a ~2 million gallon spill at the Tuscarawas River HDD location (see Rover Pipeline Accident Spills ~2M Gal. Drilling Mud in OH Swamp). Several months after stopping Rover HDD work, following investigations and corrective action, FERC slowly began to allow Rover to restart HDD work in some (not all) locations. There have been perhaps 4-5 tranches of “go ahead and restart HDD work at these couple of locations.” But until yesterday, Rover could not restart HDD at the location of the worst spill site, near the Tuscarawas River. With yesterday’s order, all sites are cleared. Craig “Captain Ahab” Butler, director of the Ohio EPA, blew a gasket. He’s still trying to harpoon the Rover “Moby Dick” Pipeline as it travels through Ohio. A few weeks ago Butler asked Rover (and FERC) to STOP all HDD work (see Ohio EPA Continues Vendetta Against Rover Pipe, Demands HDD Stop). A few days later Rover asked FERC for permission to restart the balance of their HDD work (see Rover Ignores Shrill Ohio EPA, Asks FERC to Continue HDD Drilling). On Monday, Rover sent a letter to Butler (and FERC) saying Ohio EPA “grossly mischaracterizes Rover’s activities.” Yesterday FERC very loudly and clearly ignored Butler and sided with Rover…
Continue reading

Rover Ignores Shrill Ohio EPA, Asks FERC to Continue HDD Drilling

On Monday MDN brought you the news that Captain Ahab, er, a, Ohio EPA director Craig Butler, had demanded Rover Pipeline stop all horizontal directional drilling (HDD) work now under way in the state because another (tiny, 200 gallon) drilling mud spill happened on November 16th (see Ohio EPA Continues Vendetta Against Rover Pipe, Demands HDD Stop). Butler sent a letter to Rover and has also sent it to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in yet another attempt to get FERC to halt work on the Rover project. Yesterday Rover thumbed its nose at Butler and instead asked FERC for permission to not only continue all current HDD work, but to begin new HDD work at several more locations in Ohio. Moby-Dick strikes back. Take that, Captain Ahab!…
Continue reading

Ohio EPA Continues Vendetta Against Rover Pipe, Demands HDD Stop

In September MDN told you about Craig Butler, director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA), that Bulter had gone off the rails on a power trip, claiming OEPA has the power to regulate the federally regulated Rover Pipeline project (see Ohio EPA’s Craig Butler Goes Nuts, Demands $2.3M from Rover Pipe). Butler is fining Rover for a string of some major, mostly minor drilling mud spills related to underground horizontal directional drilling (HDD). Earlier this month Butler fleeced the Ohio Attorney General into suing Rover (see OH EPA Director Manipulates Atty General to Sue Rover Pipeline). Like Captain Ahab obsessed with Moby-Dick, Butler continues his quest to stop Rover. Butler’s latest attempt is to “request” (i.e. demand) Rover stop all HDD work now under way because another drilling mud spill happened on November 16th. The latest spill (called an “inadvertent return”) was 200 gallons and ended up in the Black Fork Mohican River in Ashland County. For new MDN readers: drilling mud is bentonite clay–the same stuff used to make kitty litter, toothpaste and cosmetics. It’s nontoxic and perfect safe for the environment–unless there’s a lot of it, and then it can smother critters like salamanders and fish. But honestly, 200 gallons of it is NOTHING. Butler sent a letter to Rover and has also sent it to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in yet another attempt to get FERC to halt all Rover HDD work…
Continue reading

Energy Transfer 3Q17: ME2 Startup Slips, Rover Complete in 1Q18

Energy Transfer’s top brass delivered some bad news and some good news on yesterday’s analyst phone call to discuss third quarter 2017 performance. Two projects vital to the Marcellus/Utica are being built by ET–Mariner East 2 (ME2) and Rover Pipeline. The bad news is that ME2, a natural gas liquids (NGL) pipeline project that stretches from eastern Ohio across the state of PA to the Marcus Hook refinery near Philadelphia, will be delayed an extra nine months. ME2 has a new in-service target date of “second quarter 2018.” Progress on ME2 is not as fast as it could be primarily due to an ongoing onslaught of lawsuits by Big Green organizations, coupled with delays from the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection. The good news for ME2 is that by Dec. 31st, 99% of the pipeline will be in the ground and buried. The news for Rover is all good. Rover is a $3.7 billion, 711-mile natural gas pipeline that will run from PA, WV and eastern OH through OH into Michigan and eventually into Canada. Rover had been dogged by problems with horizontal directional drilling (HDD), but those problems are now behind it. Yes, head of the Ohio EPA, Craig Butler, continues his Captain Ahab routine to try and stop the project (see OH EPA Director Manipulates Atty General to Sue Rover Pipeline). So far he’s been unsuccessful. At any rate, construction in Ohio and elsewhere is full speed ahead. On yesterday’s call ET CFO Tom Long said Rover Phase 1 (both A and B) will be done by Dec. 31st. That’s very good. Long said the company is “very confident” Phase 2 of Rover will be online no later than March 31, 2018. Also very good. Below we’ve grabbed excerpts of yesterday’s analyst call to share, covering both ME2 and Rover…
Continue reading

OH EPA Director Manipulates Atty General to Sue Rover Pipeline

The director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Craig Butler, continues to go off the rails with a major grudge against Rover Pipeline (see Ohio EPA’s Craig Butler Goes Nuts, Demands $2.3M from Rover Pipe). Using his position and the power of his agency, Butler has now convinced Ohio’s wishy washy Republican Attorney General, Mike DeWine, to sue Rover “for polluting state waters while constructing a natural gas pipeline across Ohio.” Which is, of course, nonsense. Yes there have been some spills of drilling mud. It happens. Yes, one of them was totally unacceptable (see Rover Pipeline Accident Spills ~2M Gal. Drilling Mud in OH Swamp). However, using the mighty power of the entire state to sue a private company because Butler has an ego trip and wants to shake down the Rover project for millions is unacceptable. It’s time to fire Craig Butler. Below is the AG DeWine’s brief statement, a copy of the sham lawsuit DeWine filed late last week, and a response from Energy Transfer Partners, the builder of Rover…
Continue reading