February 22, 2016 - 9:11 PM EST
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FERC calls for additional steps to minimize environmental impacts on the Rover Pipeline

Feb. 23--A federal agency has released a 450-page draft report assessing the impacts of a natural gas pipeline across northern

, and the pipeline company must do more before receiving federal approval for the $4.2 billion Rover Pipeline.

The report was posted Friday by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that oversees interstate natural gas pipelines.

The commission, in its report, concluded that approving the pipeline "would have some adverse and significant environmental impacts."

But those impacts can be "reduced to acceptable levels" with mitigation plans advanced by the pipeline companies and with additional measures recommended by the FERC staff.

The agency is requiring "additional mitigation to minimize or avoid" impacts, the report says.

The major issues were linked to water bodies, wetlands, vegetation, wildlife habitat and alternatives, the report says.

The federal agency is accepting public comment on its report through April 11. Public hearings will be scheduled later.

The Rover Pipeline, advanced by

-based Energy Transfer Partners, would be 510 miles long and extend into
West Virginia
. The main
leg would be 204 miles and run to Defiance in northwest
. It would cross parts of southern


Wayne County
commissioners had opposed the project, saying it would damage
farmland. It would also create a safety concern where public safety communication systems in the county are limited, the commissioners said last fall.

The project would require two pipes, both 42 inches in diameter. It would transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. That's enough to heat 35,000 houses for one year.

The pipeline would extend north into

and connect to existing pipelines and make natural gas from
Utica Shale available in the Midwest,
and the Gulf Coast.

Proponents have said the Rover Pipeline would create as many as 6,500 construction jobs in

. It would provide $124 million in
for easements and another $135 million in local taxes.

Rover Pipeline LLC, an Energy Transfer Partners subsidiary, had initially hoped to have construction underway in 2016, but the project has been delayed by the federal review.

Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or [email protected].


(c)2016 the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)

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