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Company Behind Rover Pipeline Defiant Over Ohio EPA Fine

Ohio EPA
Controversy around the pipeline increased when workers accidentally spilled millions of gallons of drilling mud into Stark County wetlands last month.

A battle is brewing between a natural gas pipeline company and the state's top environmental regulators. The Ohio EPA is slapping the pipeline company with a big fine after spilling millions of gallons of pollution. But that company is refusing to pay up.

The Ohio EPA has issued more than a dozen violations and a $430,000 to the company constructing the Rover pipeline, which starts in east Ohio and cuts northwest. The list of violations includes spilling millions of gallons of thick drilling mud into wetlands in three different counties.

The Rover Pipeline route.
Credit Energy Transfer Partners
The Rover Pipeline route.

State EPA Director Craig Butler said the pipeline company, Energy Transfer Partners, has been defiant.

“They have refused to enter into negotiation with us because they say the state of Ohio does not have the authority to issue this fine and/or penalty,” Butler said.

Energy Transfer Partners says they are willing to work with the Ohio EPA, but argues they’re drilling permits go through a federal agency.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.