Pipeline Problems

State gets tough on environmental violations

What part of “don’t trash our state” do pipeline construction companies not understand? To judge by action state officials took a few days ago, some of it did not sink in.

Last July, Energy Transfer Partners was cited by the state Department of Environmental Protection for violations committed as part of the Rover Pipeline project.

The 713-mile line is meant to transport natural gas from West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania to markets elsewhere. Reportedly, the pipeline is nearly complete.

But during February, DEP inspectors found 14 environmental violations in Wetzel, Tyler and Doddridge counties. The agency followed up with a cease-and-desist order to halt work on one section of the pipeline.

A spokeswoman for ETP reacted that the company is working with the DEP and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to “resolve any outstanding concerns in a manner that ensures the complete remediation of (the areas involved) to the satisfaction of all parties.”

Construction of pipelines to carry gas from our region to markets is imperative, as we have emphasized repeatedly. But that does not mean anyone has the right to break state or federal rules meant to protect the environment.

We West Virginians had painful experience with companies that devastated our environment long before rules to protect it existed. Now that restrictions exist, they simply must be enforced. Period.

We think of the Mountain State as wild, wonderful West Virginia. The people who live here have no intention of placing an asterisk behind that, with the note, “except for certain places where big corporations could not be persuaded to undertake development responsibly.”


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