West Applauds FERC Decision To Halt Rover Pipeline Drilling
Texas corporation fined after spilling two million gallons of drilling liquid near Tuscarawas River
May 11, 2017
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State Rep. Thomas E. West (D-Canton) today applauded the decision of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to temporarily halt most drilling construction related to the Rover Pipeline. The FERC decision comes just weeks after an accidental spill at a Rover Pipeline construction site released roughly two million gallons of drilling liquid near the Tuscarawas River in Stark County. 

“I fully support the decision to freeze drilling for the Rover Pipeline project until experts and officials can determine the cause of this environmental disaster and take the necessary steps to prevent similar incidents in the future,” said West. “I am also troubled by the lack of transparency from Energy Transfer, who failed to inform community stakeholders and local officials about the April spill and the damage it has inflicted on our local wetlands.” 

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency notified Texas-based Energy Transfer, the company behind the Rover natural gas pipeline, of violations following the April spill and ordered the company to pay $431,000 for water and air pollution violations. FERC has ordered Energy Transfer to double the number of environmental inspectors and enlist an independent contractor to analyze all drilling activity at the Tuscarawas River site. 

“While anything that creates good-paying, local jobs and provides affordable energy should be welcomed, massive system failures like these spills demonstrate exactly why we need strong health and consumer protections as well,” said West. “I plan to continue conversations around this issue in the coming months to seek locally-generated and broadly-backed recommendations on how to improve pipeline safety.” 

The Rover Pipeline is designed to transport over three billion cubic feet per day of domestically-produced natural gas to markets in the Midwest, Northeast, East Coast, Gulf Coast and Canada. Construction on the 713-mile pipeline route is expected to be completed later this year.

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