Ohio EPA calls for Rover drilling halt after spill
Houston, 27 November (Argus) — The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week requested that Energy Transfer Partners halt drilling activity for the 3.25 Bcf/d (92mn m³/d) Rover natural gas pipeline project following a spill.
The agency said that on or before 16 November the company's construction activity caused 200 USG of bentonite-based drilling fluid to be released into a tributary of the Mohican river in Ashland County. This was the project's fifth violation since the developer received permission from the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to resume drilling at certain locations in the state. Energy Transfer Partners did not respond to a request for comment.
The Ohio EPA sent a letter to the project's developers last week, requesting a halt in drilling and requesting that the company review its contingency plan and ensure readiness to respond to future inadvertent spills.
Rover had been under federal orders prohibiting the company from continuing horizontal drilling at new Ohio locations following a spill of 2mn USG of drilling fluid near the Tuscarawas river in May. Earlier this month FERC approved the company to resume drilling at all but two locations: under the Sandusky and Tuscarawas rivers.
The Ohio EPA said the project is also in violation of a July order to file for a construction storm water permit. The agency has referred the case to the Ohio Attorney General.
Rover has experienced delays and regulatory setbacks during construction as a result of fluid spills, soil erosion, the unauthorized destruction of historic property and public opposition. The project has begun partial service from Cadiz to Defiance, Ohio, and is scheduled to begin full flows at the end of March 2018.