ONTARIO, OH - Rover Pipeline sent a letter to the OEPA on April 28, following a meeting to discuss the inadvertent releases that occurred in Ohio.
According to Alexis Daniel, PR & Communication Specialist at Energy Transfer Partners, inadvertent releases are a "common part of horizontal directional drilling and is permitted activity by the FERC."
Daniel's stated, "We are not out of compliance with any of our permits. It is unfortunate that the Ohio EPA has misrepresented the situation and misstated facts in its comments. All areas in question have been cleared except for one, which is nearing completion."
"Rover have experienced a small number of inadvertent releases of “drilling mud” during horizontal drilling in Ohio. The drilling mud, which is a mixture of naturally occurring bentonite clay and water and is safe for the environment, is used to help facilitate horizontal directional drills and is used in all types of infrastructure projects that use HDDs as a part of the construction process. Bentonite is commonly used in a variety of household products that we use every day such as beer and wine, sugar, honey, creams and lotions, baby powders, laundry detergents and hand soaps. It is also used in the salt mixture that states such as Ohio use on their roads in the winter to melt ice."
This comes after Rover Pipeline construction caused 50,000 gallons of drilling fluid to spill into a local wetland off of Pavonia East Rd. in Mifflin Township last month.
This local spill was part of Rover's estimated 2 million gallons of drilling fluid pollutants into wetlands "adjacent to" the Tuscarawas River last week, according to a violation filed by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Local resident, Kathy Wolfe, told WMFD that the spill occurred within her and her husband's 480-acre property which is located within Richland and Ashland counties.
Wolfe mentioned that she was told by her Rover land agent, Mitch Phillis, that it was a frack-out spill and that it was 'no big deal, it's just mud'.
The new interstate natural gas project will transport 3.25 billion cubic feet per day of domestically-produced natural gas to markets in the Midwest, Northeast, East Coast, Gulf Coast and Canada, with direct deliveries to Ohio, West Virginia, Michigan, and into the Dawn Hub in Ontario, Canada which has a broader network of distribution points back into the U.S., the Northeast and into the Canadian market.
The approximate $4.2 billion pipeline will gather gas from processing plants in West Virginia, Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania for delivery to the Midwest Hub near Defiance, Ohio, where roughly 68 percent of the gas will be delivered via interconnects with existing pipelines in Ohio and West Virginia for distribution to markets across the U.S.
"We take these releases seriously, and we continue to work closely with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) on this matter as well as to strengthen their understanding of the HDD process," stated Daniel's. "We do not believe that there will be any long-term impact to the environment. This situation is being managed and mitigated in accordance with the previously approved and certificated Horizontal Directional Drilling Contingency Plan on file with the FERC and OEPA."