Widely-Opposed Rover Pipeline Confirms Worst Fears Before It Goes into Operation
By: Sierra Club – West Michigan Chapter
Columbus, OH –Energy Transfer’s Rover pipeline had two major spills of drilling fluids into Ohio’s wetlands last week, according to correspondence between the company and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. Construction began on the project on in mid-March 2017. On April 14th, 50,000 gallons of drilling fluids were spilled into a wetland in Richland County, Mifflin Township. On April 13th, 2 million gallons within a wetland adjacent to the Tuscarawas River in Stark County.
The Rover pipeline is proposed to carry fracked gas across four states and will cross three major rivers: the Maumee, Sandusky, and Portage, all of which feed into Lake Erie. In Michigan, the pipeline will pass through Lenawee, Washtenaw, and Livingston Counties.
In addition to the Rover pipeline, Energy Transfer is the company behind the controversial Dakota Access pipeline.
In response, Sierra Club Michigan Beyond Gas and Oil Chair Nancy Shiffler released the following statement:
“Construction just began just a few weeks ago, yet Energy Transfer has already spilled more than 2 million gallons of drilling fluids in two separate disasters, confirming our worst fears about this dangerous pipeline before it has even gone into operation. We’ve always said that it’s never a question of whether a pipeline accident will occur, but rather a question of when. These disasters prove that the fossil fuel industry is unable to even put a pipeline into use before it spills polluting fluids into our precious waterways and recreation areas.
“Construction on the Rover pipeline must be stopped immediately, as an investigation into Energy Transfer’s total failure to adequately protect our wetlands and communities is conducted.
“In addition, the spills must heighten scrutiny of the proposed Nexus pipeline, currently under consideration at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the MDEQ. Our waterways, from wetlands to the Great Lakes, are too precious to risk the impacts of additional spills and contamination from these pipelines. ”