Two pipeline projects under construction have been halted by state environmental authorities due to environmental problems. The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) issued July 17 an order halting construction of the 713-mile Rover Pipeline, which would transmit natural gas from West Virginia to markets in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Canada. The WVDEP order cites numerous instances of sediment deposits in water bodies and lack of proper erosion controls. The order instructs Rover Pipeline LLC to “immediately cease & desist any further land development activity until such time when compliance with the terms and conditions of is permit and all pertinent laws and rules is achieved.”
On July 25, a Pennsylvania environmental court judge ordered a two-week halt to all horizontal direction drilling associated with Sunoco’s Mariner East 2 Pipeline, a 350-mile project that is designed to move gas from Marcellus and Utica shale fields in West Virginia and Ohio to Sunoco’s export terminal, where the plan is to ship the gas to Scotland to make plastics.
The temporary ban, which will affect drilling at 55 sites, will be effective until August 7 when a Pennsylvania court will hear arguments from Sunoco and complainants in a hearing. The court will decide whether to lift or extend the suspension until a future hearing that will determine whether to withdraw permits for the project. More information here.