On September 18, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted the Rover Pipeline’s request to re-commence horizontal directional drilling (HDD) at nine locations along the pipeline’s path. As FERC staff concluded, “Rover has demonstrated sufficient progress on the required rehabilitation and restoration of the areas affected by the inadvertent release and drilling mud contamination.”
FERC’s assessment was welcome news – not only for Rover developers but also for natural gas producers throughout the Midwest as well as the range of businesses and consumers that stand to benefit from increased access to natural gas. While portions of the Rover Pipeline have been in service in recent weeks, the final HDD activity should bring construction of the pipeline to a successful completion by the first quarter of 2018.
As FERC’s order demonstrates, Rover will continue to work closely with state and federal regulators to ensure that construction is safe. Moreover, FERC acknowledges that independent third-party contractors will continue to oversee additional safety procedures moving forward. According to the FERC announcement, “Commission staff finds that utilization of these measures will help to ensure the risk of future inadvertent releases is minimized.”
The following statement can be attributable to me, John McClelland, the spokesperson for The Coalition for the Expansion of Pipeline Infrastructure (CEPI):
“The Coalition welcomes the move by FERC to allow HDD activity to resume and looks forward to the continued construction and subsequent operation of the Rover Pipeline. Close coordination with state and federal regulators, as well as stringent oversight by FERC recognized third party contractors, is absolutely critical to ensuring that this pipeline is built safely.”
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