Our friends at Sustainable Medina County have shared important information with us; we publish it below. It's a long and very informative read. Contact sustainablemedinacounty if you'd like to discuss this topic or other issues affecting Medina County's environment.
Release Date: Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Contact: Clifford Rowley (Member of Michigan Residents Against the ET Rover Pipeline)
Phone: (810) 516-7252
Rover Pipeline Opponents File Motion to Halt Construction, Citing Accidents and Route Changes
Formal complaint asks FERC to immediately suspend construction and re-open environmental review process
Today, grassroots citizens’ groups in Ohio and Michigan formally asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to revoke the construction permit for the ET Rover Pipeline, and to reopen the environmental analysis of its probable effects if completed.
In a lengthy motion filed today with FERC, Michigan Residents Against the ET Rover Pipeline and the Ohio-based Fresh Water Accountability Project charge that the public is losing confidence that the Rover pipeline will be built safely and reliably. The motion cites a number of concerns, including recent massive spills of drilling lubricants and other violations by contractors building the pipeline; an unannounced rerouting of the pipeline closer to Silver Lake in Washtenaw County that would endanger hundreds of permanent and seasonal residents on its shores; and an unexplained switch of compressor-station engines.
The ET Rover pipeline project is owned by Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, the same company behind the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.
If completed, the 42-inch-diameter Rover pipeline would carry 3.25 billion cubic feet of unscented, radioactive, hydraulically-fractured natural gas per day from shale formations in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. In Michigan it would cross Lenawee, Washtenaw and Livingston counties before joining the Vector pipeline near Howell (Livingston County) in order to export the gas to the Dawn Hub in Ontario, Canada.
The concerned residents who called for the motion have been engaged with the environmental review process since plans for the pipeline were first announced in 2014. Construction on the pipeline began in February after FERC issued the project a conditional Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity.
Clifford Rowley, a Putnam Township resident and member of Michigan Residents Against the ET Rover Pipeline, noted that “We are calling for a careful, thorough reassessment of the impact to the public and the environment in granting the Certificate. This is our best alternative to assure the safety of Michigan resources, Michigan homes, children at a Michigan camp, and Michigan families.”
If the motion is granted, construction on the pipeline would halt, allowing FERC and the public time to clarify the last-minute changes to Rover’s route that were made after the environmental review process closed in July 2016. Residents argue that FERC approved these changes based on false or misleading evidence that ET Rover provided to the agency. A re-opened environmental review process would allow regulators and members of the public to thoroughly consider the ramifications of the recently-altered route.
It would also give the agency time to consider recent events that residents argue show a pattern of disregard for the public trust on the company’s part. Residents say this pattern includes Energy Transfer’s carelessness that has brought 18 citations upon the company thus far in the Rover construction process; Rover’s spilling of over 2 million gallons of drilling fluid in Ohio wetlands and its indifferent response to these spills; Rover’s intentional destruction of a 173-year-old house eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places after having promised to protect it; Rover’s submission of false data in federal filings that misled regulators; and Rover’s reneging on stipulations imposed by regulators about the construction of the pipeline’s compressor stations.
This most recent development in the beleaguered pipeline project comes on the eve of Thursday’s Senate confirmation hearings for nominees to fill two vacancies on FERC. It also comes just days after 118 organizations issued a joint demand calling on FERC to halt Rover construction and conduct an internal review of the federal agency’s own pipeline approval process. Recently, FERC also ordered a temporary halt on the company’s use of the controversial drilling process that resulted in the Ohio wetland spills.
Highlights of the concerns raised in the motion:
Find out more about Michigan Residents Against ET Rover atwww.overwithrover.com, or on Facebook atfacebook.com/ETRovergohome/.