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Health & Science

FERC is Considering Ohio EPA's Request For Help with Rover

Pipeline construction
M.L. Schultze

Earlier this month -- for the second time in less than a year -- the Rover Pipeline project had drilling mud that was supposed to come back up from a drill hole disappear underground at its construction site in Stark County. 

As a second of two pipes at the site was being installed about 146,000 gallons never returned to the surface and is unaccounted for.

The Ohio EPA wants drilling shut down until a full investigation can be completed.

Rover hasn’t agreed to that. So, Friday, the agency asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for help.

James Lee is a spokesman for the state EPA.

“Ohio EPA is in continual communications with not only FERC, but Rover, and we are keeping a close eye on the project. But ultimately it is FERC that has the authority to order a halt, even a temporary halt to the drilling.”

Last week, the owner of Rover, Energy Transfer Partners, issued a statement saying Rover had not experienced an inadvertent return or spill while installing the second line under the Tuscarawas River.  They are continuing to work in coordination with FERC on all the remaining drilling.   

Stark County wetland being cleaned up after deluge of mud
Credit Ohio EPA / OEPA website
Clean up crews in Arpil 2017 at the wetland in Stark County

In April of 2017, 2 million gallons of drilling mud was spilled into wetlands while the first pipe was being installed at the Stark location.