The Ohio EPA this week is planning to issue new notices of violations against Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the Rover natural gas pipeline.
The firm has yet to comment. M.L. Schultze of member station WKSU in Kent reports.
EPA Director Craig Butler says more drilling fluid has been spilled into streams and wetlands along Rover’s diagonal path across Ohio. He says Energy Transfer Partners is supposed to be avoiding such spills by doing its horizontal drilling underground, instead of digging trenches to lay the pipeline.
“We know that sometimes these ‘inadvertent returns’ as they call them -- where drilling mud comes to the surface -- they happen occasionally. But we saw a pattern with Rover; that’s why we took a significant action. We’re seeing that pattern emerge again.”
Butler says the new spills are smaller than the leaks of millions of gallons of fluid into a wetland in southwestern Stark County. Ohio is suing Rover for $2.3 million for damages and cleanup costs in the earlier incidents. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission had suspended Rover’s drilling in March, but gave it the OK to resume work last month.