Energy Transfer's Latest Pipeline Woe Is a 50,000-Barrel Spillby
$4.2 billion Rover line developer spilled fluids in wetlands
Sierra Club says it’ll fight to halt project’s construction
Add almost 50,000 barrels of drilling fluids released into Ohio wetlands to the issues that have plagued Energy Transfer Partners LP’s $4.2 billion Rover natural gas pipeline.
A regulatory filing disclosed Tuesday shows Energy Transfer’s Rover unit was notified by Ohio’s Environmental Protection Agency of violations after two releases of drilling fluids, both discovered last week. They occurred as part of an operation associated with the pipeline installation, the filing shows.
It’s the latest challenge for the pipeline developer that, just last year, drew heat after demolishing a historic house near the line’s path in Ohio. Then it had to race against the clock to clear 3,000 acres of trees within weeks before a bat-roosting season kicked in this year. Gas traders have been betting on whether the pipeline will really go into service as planned in November because, once it does, the system will be capable of moving more than 3 billion cubic feet of gas from eastern U.S. shale formations to markets daily.
Energy Transfer is working with Ohio’s Environmental Protection Agency and the spills won’t change the project’s in-service date, company spokeswoman Alexis Daniel said by email. “Once the incidents were noted, we immediately began containment and mitigation and will continue until the issues are completely resolved,” she said.
An estimated 47,619-barrel release of drilling fluids into a wetland adjacent to Ohio’s Tuscarawas River was discovered April 13, the Tuesday filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission shows. Another estimated 1,190-barrel spill was found a day later in a wetland in Richland County, Ohio, the filing shows.
Dakota Access Connection
Sierra Club said it’ll fight to stop all construction of the pipeline in Ohio. “The fact that we would have two spills in two separate counties -- it just proves how dangerous these pipelines and their construction are," said Jen Miller, director of the group’s Ohio chapter.
Energy Transfer is the same company behind the controversial Dakota Access oil pipeline that’s now preparing for service. Thousands of people protested and camped out in North Dakota for months to fight that project’s construction.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which granted Energy Transfer a certificate for the Rover line in February, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.