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Pipeline Construction Complete; Rover Addresses Drainage Tile

The 42-inch natural gas pipeline through Fulton County has been completed, but Rover Pipeline, LLC, a part of Energy Transfer Partners, is still working on restoring soils disturbed by construction said Alexis Daniel, public relations specialist for ETP.

The restoration “would also include continuing to address any drain tile issues in the area.”

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted Rover permission to begin flowing natural gas through Phase 1A– a 212-mile section from Cadiz in east-central Ohio to Defiance– on Aug. 31.

A second portion, Phase 1B– from Seneca in southeast Ohio to Cadiz, along with the first mainline compressor station in Carroll County– is expected to be operational by the end of 2017.

Company officials say the pipeline, which extends 713 miles, is expected to be in full service by the end of March 2018.

However, the company is not entirely in the clear.

Over the summer, the company inadvertently released about 2 million gallons of a water-and-clay mixture used in horizontal direction drilling into wetlands.

Known as drilling mud, it was later discovered to be tainted with diesel fuel.

James Lee, an Ohio Environmental Protection Agency spokesman, said the company cleaned up the contaminated drilling mud.

OEPA attempted to negotiate a settlement with the pipeline company, but the firm refused to pay a $2.3 million civil penalty.

The company also did not file for an OEPA storm water permit.

Rover officials said because the company is regulated by FERC, it is exempt from the Ohio requirement.

But Lee said OEPA officials said once Rover committed an environmental infraction, it forfeited its federal exemption.

OEPA referred the matter to the Ohio Attorney General office to begin legal proceedings to collect the civil penalty, and requires the company to seek the storm water permit.

Lee said the case is working its way through the court system.

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