Issues Of The Environment: Imminent Rover ET Pipeline Construction Raising Concerns

Jul 12, 2017

Washtenaw County Commissioner Michelle Deatrick
Credit Washtenaw County / ewashtenaw.org

In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks to Washtenaw County Commissioner Michelle Deatrick about the potential environmental and economical risks of the Rover natural gas pipeline.


Overview

   ·  The ET Rover pipeline is expected to be built in Washtenaw County this summer.

   ·  Residents of areas near where the pipeline will be built were not informed that the most recent path of the pipeline differs from the one proposed last year (would have run along the path of an existing powerline).  The new path runs by Silver Lake, under a feeder creek to Portage Lake, and next to a YMCA campground. 

   ·  According to the Sierra Club and the “Michigan Residents Against the ET Rover Pipeline,” were a spill or rupture to occur in this section, up to 2000 lives could potentially be at risk.  In addition, the Huron River and Barton Pond (drinking water for Ann Arbor) could be contaminated.  The choice by Energy Transfer Partners LP to not odorize the gas due to the expense is also a concern.

   ·  According to Michelle Deatrick, Washtenaw County Commissioner for Ward 2 (townships of Northfield, Salem, and Webster; most of the Townships of Ann Arbor and Superior, and portions of the Cities of Ann Arbor and Dexter), the public has been misled and ignored throughout the pipeline planning and approval process. She says residents are very concerned that Energy Transfer Partners LP--which also is the developer of the Dakota Access Pipeline--has a track record of environmental mishaps in similar terrain.  She has noticed sedimentation problems near the current worksite, and she has vowed to stand in front of building equipment if necessary.

Recent Events

   ·  Wednesday, June 28: Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners, in front of an overflow crowd, unanimously passes a Resolution opposing Rover Pipeline and the route change. 

   ·  Friday, July 7: Rally to Halt Rover, 6-8pm organized by Michigan Residents Against the ET Rover Pipeline and the Ann Arbor YMCA.

Resources

   ·  Rover Pipeline website: http://www.roverpipelinefacts.com/

   ·  Michigan Residents Against the ET Rover Pipeline: https://www.facebook.com/ETRovergohome/

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu