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Dakota Access firm faces fines for two spills of drilling fluid in Ohio

Filed Under: Environment | National
More on: cheyenne river sioux, dakota access pipeline, north dakota, ohio, standing rock sioux, water
     
   

Construction of the Rover gas pipeline resulted in the spill of drilling fluids in wetlands adjacent to the Tuscarawas River. Photo: Tim Kiser

The company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline is facing fines in connection with a natural gas project in Ohio.

Construction of the Rover natural gas pipeline resulted in more than 2 million gallons of drilling fluids being spilled at two different locations earlier this month. On the website for the project, Energy Transfer Partners says the fluids pose no risk to the environment but the state isn't so sure.

“Discharges of bentonite mud and other material into waters of the state (including wetlands) can affect water chemistry, and potentially suffocate wildlife, fish and macroinvertebrates,” James Lee, a spokesperson for the state's environmental agency, told The Washington Post. Both spills occurred in wetlands, according to notices of violation sent to Energy Transfer.

The state will determine whether to fine the company after cleanup efforts are completed, The Post reported. But any amount will likely pale in comparison to the $4.2 billion cost of the project, according to the paper.

Over in North Dakota, Energy Transfer completed work on the Dakota Access Pipeline over the objections of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and other tribes. The final portion of the $3.8 billion project crosses treaty territory near Standing Rock.

Even though pipeline is finished, the tribes are still hoping they can stop the flow of oil as part of a lawsuit in federal court. Energy Transfer has announced May 14 as the earliest possible date for service.

The spills in Ohio occurred in connection with horizontal direction drilling for the Rover pipeline. The same type of drilling was used in North Dakota in order to place the Dakota Access pipeline under the Missouri River.

Read More on the Story:
The company behind the Dakota Access pipeline is in another controversy (The Washington Post 4/27)

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