Craig Butler of the Ohio EPA (OEPA) held a press call regarding the Rover Pipeline. A number of outlets and groups, including the Ohio Environmental Council, have started to report on the substance of Mr. Butler’s call. Mr. Butler’s public reprimand of the Rover Pipeline stands in direct contrast to the actions taken earlier this week by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)’s Office of Energy Projects (OEP). Moreover, it undermines the work that Rover has done to cooperate with the OEPA in recent weeks.
Mr. Butler’s press call comes just two days after the OEP allowed Rover to resume horizontal directional drilling (HDD) activities at nine (9) locations across the Rover Pipeline route. That order is attached. In it, OEP notes that Rover has enacted a series of precautionary measures, as well as independent oversight by a third-party contractor, to ensure that future HDD activity is safe:
We find that Rover Pipeline LLC (Rover) has sufficiently satisfied the obligations imposed by Commission staff…
Rover has also developed a set of protocols and procedures to prevent future drilling mud contamination by petroleum hydrocarbons as occurred at the Tuscarawas River HDD site. In addition to these proposed protocols and procedures, we require Rover to provide third-party independent inspectors to oversee the remaining HDDs to further safeguard against future inadvertent releases of a significant magnitude and against drilling fluid contamination at any of the HDD sites. The third-party inspectors will work under the sole direction of Commission staff. Rover must have all commitments, plans, and obligations in place prior to the start of resumption of drilling activities.
Below is a statement that you can attribute to, Craig Stevens, spokesperson for the Grow America’s Infrastructure Now (GAIN) Coalition. For more about the GAIN Coalition, visit: www.GainNow.org.
“Regulations are put into place to create a predicable set of rules for companies to follow; and the Rover Pipeline project has been planned, vetted, and approved after an exhaustive regulatory process that has lasted more than three years. Stakeholders should want to see the safe, successful completion of the Rover Pipeline. Bullying industry through the media is not the way to achieve that goal.”