Press Release

ROVER STILL HAVING PROBLEMS CLEANING UP THEIR MESS

Columbus, Ohio — The following statement can be attributed in full, or in part, to Melanie Houston, Director of Climate Programs at the Ohio Environmental Council:

“Last week, The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) delayed in-service approval of sections of the Rover Pipeline. Earlier this week, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) issued a Notice of Violation for Rover’s illegal disposal of industrial waste that contained PCE, a likely carcinogen. Over a year after Rover’s first mistakes, they continue to mar Ohio’s environment and skirt important regulations designed to protect the land and health of Ohioans.

“The Rover Pipeline continues to cause headaches for Ohioans, particularly the landowners who are feeling the impacts of this poorly-managed pipeline project on their land and streams traversing their properties. These are Ohioans who deserve swift action by the company to restore their land, as best-as-possible, to its pre-Rover state.

“FERC is doing the right thing in holding Rover’s feet to the fire on restoration commitments. Furthermore, we applaud the Ohio EPA for continuing to monitor Rover’s actions. The recent Notice of Violation filed by the agency shows that Rover hasn’t learned from its past mistakes.”

Additional background information:

  • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has delayed approval for putting into service three Rover Pipeline LLC (“Rover”) projects given the company’s failure to meet restoration commitments on the Market Segment of the Rover Pipeline Project by June 30, 2018. The projects include the Vector Delivery Meter Station, Defiance Compressor Station and the Market Segment.
  • The Commission noted that “neither the commission nor its staff takes lightly a pipeline’s commitments to restore and rehabilitate affected lands.”
  • Rover failed to complete restoration activities planned on the Market Segment lateral by the agreed-upon-date. This section of the Rover consists of approximately 100 miles of new, 42-inch pipeline, with approximately 28 miles located in northwest Ohio.
  • FERC directed Rover to “take prompt and immediate action to address these outstanding restoration commitments” and to file by July 9, 2018, “ a detailed account of why it believes it will not be able to complete activities within the time frame to which it previously committed.
  • Rover’s argument is that unforeseen weather conditions stalled the restoration activities beyond what either FERC or Rover could have predicted, and that they should be allowed to commence service on the Pipeline while they complete the Restoration Activities.
  • Restoration commitments include the following: “Completion of final grading, reseeding, resolution of all remaining items on the punch list, such as minor restoration to stream banks, rill erosion, and repair of erosion control devices where revegetation has not been achieved, and restoration of subsidence by reshaping the existing soil and/or bringing in soil of the same or better quality.”
  • FERC emphasized that they communicated months ago that the agency may not grant service requests if restoration activities are not completed: “I note that our March 26, 2018 letter regarding Rover’s failure to complete required restoration activities at Compressor Station 1 and Compressor Station 2 indicated that FERC staff’s review of future in-service requests ‘will depend, in part, on a demonstration of Rover’s commitment to satisfactory restoration of construction areas and workspaces, including our confidence that any locations where restoration is identified as a future action will receive the proper and agreed-upon attention.’”
  • On July 11, the Ohio EPA issued its Notice of Violation upon Rover and submitted a copy to FERC’s Rover docket. The Ohio EPA has evidence that Rover has deposited drilling fluid containing PCEs at industrial waste disposal sites. Without a proper industrial waste disposal plan, their action violates ORC 6111.45 and Rover must take corrective action.

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