May 9, 2017

Pipeline Expert Brigham McCown on Rover Drilling Fluid Releases

Brigham McCown is one of the country’s preeminent experts on infrastructure development. Formerly the head of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Mr. McCown is also the founder and CEO of the non-profit group Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure.

Recently, Mr. McCown took to the airwaves on the Rover Pipeline, discussing the project with Pam Cook on Canton, Ohio-based radio station 1480 WHBC-AM. Among the topics of conversation were the safety of underground pipelines, Rover in particular, and the release of drilling mud by Rover in Ohio. As Mr. McCown began:

“Most people take this energy for granted – and they should. Because pipelines are buried, they’re out of sight, they’re out of mind, you never hear about them. Most people don’t know that we have over 2.6 million miles of pipe in the U.S.”

Mr. McCown went on to discuss the drilling fluid used by the Rover Pipeline:

“The bentonite that’s used in the drilling mud is not toxic – it’s used to purify water, it’s used in base layers of makeup, it’s used in many different applications. We put in on our face as mud.”

Further, Mr. McCown pushed back on media reports labelling the discharge a spill – which is unique to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency:

“It’s a little dismaying to me when it’s called a spill because it brings connotations of oil spills and other things – and that’s simply not the case.”

He concluded the interview by pointing listeners to, an invaluable source for information about the Rover Pipeline. CEPI applauds Mr. McCown for taking the time to educate the public about the Rover Pipeline and the safety of developing our region’s energy infrastructure system.

Listen to the full interview here.