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5/22/2017 Stormwater overow from Rover pipeline construction affecting farms

Stormwater over ow from Rover pipeline

construction a ecting farms
Posted May20,2017at12:01AM
Updated May20,2017at6:22AM

By Sheridan Hendrix and Marion Renault, The Columbus Dispatch

The Rover pipeline is in trouble again, this time for storm water overflows on
farm fields along its construction route.

In a statement released Friday, Rover Pipeline officials responded to complaints

from Ohio farmers regarding overflows that the company said are caused by
recent rainfalls. Heavy rain has caused pipeline trenches and work spaces to fill
with water and spill onto fields.

Texas-based Energy Transfer, which is building the $4.2 billion underground

pipeline route, said it is working with the Ohio Environmental Protection
Agency and the Federal Energy Regulatory Agency, as well as the farmers, to
remove the water.

Rainfall in Ohio this spring has not been unprecedented, Ohio EPA spokesman
James Lee said in an email statement. Had Rover better planned their storm
water management, they would have been aware that rain is common in Ohio
during the months of April and May.

This isnt the first time Rover has had to apologize for its actions.

In all, at least 18 incidents have been reported in 11 Ohio counties over eight
weeks, including mud spills from drilling, stormwater pollution and open
burning. The Ohio EPA says at least eight incidents violated state law, and many
of the rest are under review.

One April spill blanketed 6.5 acres of a protected wetland adjacent to the
Tuscarawas River in northeast Ohio with several million gallons of bentonite. 1/3
5/22/2017 Stormwater overow from Rover pipeline construction affecting farms

Because the project repeatedly violated Ohio environmental laws, the EPA is
pursuing formal enforcement action against Rover.

On Monday, the agency updated a Proposed Administrative Orders sent to the

company to reflect new incidents this month that include a dozen stormwater
violations and a 10,000-gallon spill of bentonite sludge in a Harrison County
pond and stream.

The document also says the company missed the deadline for a certificate fee by
more than a month, meaning Rover construction began without the proper

The order would make Rover implement its environmental contingency plan
and revising its plan based on comments from Ohio EPA; submit a wetland
mitigation plan for restoration of a Stark County wetland; apply for a
stormwater permit; and pay a civil penalty.

Mondays updated proposed administrative order asks Rover to pay $714,000

up from the $431,000 civil penalty called for in the .

Even before construction, the pipeline project faced a string of hiccups.

The project raced to clear trees before the federally protected Indiana brown bats
began roosting and also drew backlash for demolishing a Leesville house that
was under consideration for the National Register of Historic Places.

In a letter sent May 10, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission prohibited
Texas-based Rover Pipeline from any new drilling activities until the company
complies with new measures and receives authorization.

Lee said the agency is aware of the issues and is in communication with FERC to
fix the problem. The state agency is reviewing a new contingency plan submitted
by Rover in recent weeks.

(We are) exploring a remedy to these immediate concerns, Lee said. 2/3
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