Over 2 million gallons of drilling fluid have been spilled onto wetlands in northern Ohio during constructing the Rover Pipeline. The 713-mile. $4.2 billion Rover project would transport natural gas from northern West Virginia to Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan. The Rover Pipeline is a project of a Energy Transfer Partners, a Texas-based pipeline operator. Construction on the Rover began a month ago, after the project received its FERC certificate as one of the final actions before Commissioner Norman Bay resigned, denying FERC a quorum.
The release of the drilling fluids into affected wetlands occurred in two separate instances on April 13 (west of Canton) and 14 (east of Mansfield) as part of a horizontal directional drilling (HDD) operation. Energy Transfer formally reported the incidents to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency in an April 17 letter. HDD is a technique that will be used in constructing the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, most prominently in drilling underneath the Blue Ridge Parkway and the James River. For more, see related story below under “Big Picture.”