Rover receives approval to begin pipeline project


By Carol McIntire



A pipeline project under consideration by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) since Feb. 20, 2015, received approval last week.

Rover Pipeline received a certificate of approval from the commission Feb. 2 to build a 510.7 mile interstate pipeline that originates in the Utica and Marcellus shale areas and connects with the Vector Pipeline in Livingston County, MI, which travels into Canada. The pipeline consists of nine supply laterals and three mainlines. The laterals will transport gas from plants in the shale regions in Ohio, West Virginia and Virginia to delivery points along the two mainlines that mostly run parallel from Harrison County to the Midwest Hub in Defiance. From there the pipeline travels north to Livingston County, MI. The pipeline crosses Harrison, Carroll, Tuscarawas and Stark counties.

The pipeline is designed to provide up to 3.25 million cubic feet of gas per day.

The pipeline ranges in diameter from 24 to 42-inches in diameter. Plans call for approximately 18.6 miles of dual 42-inch diameter pipe to be installed from the Cadiz Tie-In in Harrison County to a compressor station in Carroll County and 190.9 miles of 42-inch line from Carroll County to the Midwest Hub in Defiance.

About 51.8 miles of 36-inch pipe will be installed from a compressor station at Burgettstown, PA, to tie-in lines in Carroll County. A new compressor station is to be installed in Carroll County near the Leesville cryogenic plant.

The proposed pipeline has been a controversial project in Carroll County since it was initiated in 2015. Citizens complained about the practices used by landsmen obtaining right-of-ways, which led to a formation of a group known as G&B Landowners, represented by the law firm of Goldman and Braunstein, LLP.

This group, along with Ohio Farm Bureau filed motions opposing the pipeline.

In spite of numerous objections, the commission found, the benefits the project will provide to the market “outweigh any adverse effects on shippers, other pipelines and their captive customers and on landowners and surrounding communities.”

The commission denied Rover’s request for a blanket certificate that would have allowed the company to undertake certain construction activities without prior notice to the commission. The denial came because, after a final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), Rover purchased and demolished an 1843 historic federal home known as the Stoneman House, located on Azalea Rd., near the Leesville plant, which is across the highway from Rover’s proposed mainline compressor station.

The commission noted that early on, the house was identified as eligible for listing on the National Registry of Historic Places and within the scope of the project and the commission recommended Rover mitigate the adverse effects the compressor station. Rover committed to developing a solution that would avoid impact on the structure and then purchased the home and torn it down.

Because of Rover’s action, the commission stated construction of project facilities can not begin until a resolution of the adverse effects is complete and referred the matter to the Office of Enforcement for further investigation and action.

In December 2016, Rover provided funding they committed to use for activities with a “visible and tangible public benefit” in response to its actions.

The FERC approval noted Rover can apply for a blanket certificate after 18 months of full commercial operation.

Rover is a subsidiary of the Texas-based company, Energy Transfer Partners. This is Rover’s first pipeline project.