Monday, April 24, 2017 at 3:07PM
Clark Hill

During the course of constructing its new pipeline, ET Rover suffered two spills releasing 2 million gallons of drilling fluid into wetlands in Ohio.

The landscape of America is crisscrossed by millions of linear feet of pipelines transporting natural gas, crude oil, other petroleum products, etc.  Many of these pipelines are aging, creating concerns about the potential for failure.  For example, this blog post discusses the Enbridge Line 5 Pipeline that crosses the Straights of Mackinaw.  This has resulted  in greater opposition to construction of new pipelines.  For example, this post links to an article discussing Native American groups opposition to pipelines.

In my mind, one of the justifications for constructing new pipelines was the ability to decommission older pipelines.  This was based upon the presumption that a newly constructed pipeline will be less prone to failure than an older, existing pipeline.  This logic has been called into question by recent events during the construction of Rover’s new natural gas pipeline. 

This article discusses two spills of drilling fluid, described as “a thick gel-like substance used to cut through rock during construction pipeline,” in Richland County, Ohio. 

If pipeline companies can be so sloppy in their construction practices to have problems not once, but twice during the construction of its pipeline, the notion that replacing ageing pipelines through new pipeline construction will reduce problems is undercut. 

These events are pertinent to Michigan readers of this blog because Rover is installing the pipeline in Lenawee and Washtenaw Counties.  Let us hope that Rover will learn from these incidents and be able to construct its pipeline without further incident.

I have recently been involved in representing property owners with pipelines being constructed by Wolverine Pipe Line Company,  ET Rover Pipeline, Nexus Pipeline, and a small by-pass built by DTE.  Consumers Power is in the stages of planning a new pipeline project. This blog post describes general issues facing property owners relating to pipeline acquisitions.

If you are facing issues with pipeline construction, please feel free to contact me.

Article originally appeared on Clark Hill Property Owner Condemnation Services (
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