West Virginia orders halt to Rover Pipeline segments

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — State environmental authorities have ordered a halt to Rover Pipeline construction in places where it found permit violations damaging streams in northern West Virginia.

After inspectors in April, May, June and July found erosion-control failures that left sediment deposits in creeks and streams, the Department of Environmental Protection ordered Rover Pipeline LLC in a July 17 letter to "immediately cease and desist any further land development activity" until it complies. The DEP ordered Rover to provide a plan within 20 days for installing and maintaining needed storm water and erosion controls.

In its February approval, the department wrote that the project includes 172 stream crossings in West Virginia. It specifically prohibits dumping "spoil materials from the watercourse or onshore operations, including sludge deposits," into watercourses or wetlands or anywhere it will harm surface or ground waters.

Parent company Energy Transfer Partners said Wednesday that construction continues on two West Virginia segments in Hancock and Marshall counties, while it works with DEP to resolve issues on two others. "We are complying with the DEP, and have stopped construction at the areas noted in the order," spokeswoman Alexis Daniel said.

The 700-mile (1,126-kilometer) pipeline will carry natural gas from shale deposits in West Virginia and Pennsylvania across Ohio and into Michigan. Ohio has proposed nearly $1 million in environmental fines for damage there.

In West Virginia, the company said work continues on a 6-mile (10-kilometer) pipeline through the tip of the northern Panhandle in Hancock County, crossing from Ohio to Pennsylvania, and a 12-mile (19-kilometer) segment from Ohio to a compressor station in Majorsville in Marshall County.

The others, where construction is temporarily stopped, are a pipeline extending 36 miles (58 kilometers) from Ohio through Tyler and Wetzel counties to a compressor station at Sherwood in Doddridge County, and a fourth planned segment running for six miles (10 kilometers) through Doddridge County.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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