Concerns addressed in draft pipeline rule

Ohio Farm Bureau members’ concerns about a pipeline that will cross 18 Ohio counties are addressed in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s draft rule.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently released its 450-page draft environmental impact statement for the ET Rover pipeline, which will run from southeast Ohio west to Defiance County and up into Michigan and Canada. The statement contains environmental protection recommendations made by Farm Bureau members and staff. FERC is in charge of approval, permitting and siting for the proposed $4.3 billion pipeline.

“Many of our members have concerns about soil and water conservation, drainage, tile repair and other forms of farmland repair/remediation. FERC listened to landowners because their concerns are addressed in this draft statement. In many cases FERC recommended more stringent requirements than what ET Rover had proposed in its initial application,” said Dale Arnold, Ohio Farm Bureau’s director of energy development.

The next step in the process is public meetings held throughout Ohio for additional comment about the draft environmental impact statement. Ohio Farm Bureau members have been attending these meetings to provide input. Ohio Farm Bureau members are encouraged to also comment electronically by April 11. While FERC’s environmental impact statement details a variety of recommendations, Ohio Farm Bureau recommends landowners make their comments based on the short Ohio Ag Mitigation Plan.

Arnold noted that FERC’s environmental impact statement does not cover everything and landowners should hire legal counsel to negotiate an effective easement agreement with ET Rover to ensure their land is adequately protected.