Rover has incorporated protection of sensitive resources from the very start of the process to route, design, build and now during the operation of the pipeline. During the initial conception of the pipeline and its route, Rover selected a path that avoided and minimized the crossing of sensitive environmental resources as our base routing guideline. This, coupled with avoidance of residences, defined the route initially and then the route was field verified by civil surveys and environmental studies that further identified sensitive areas for the project to avoid.
Rover Pipeline was able to avoid many tracts under this conservation easement. As such, approximately 80% of the pipeline parallels existing infrastructure including pipelines, power lines, and roads or is buried underneath agricultural land.
During the construction of Rover, environmental protections and minimizing and mitigating impacts to land were critically important. As part of our commitment to protect the environment, more than 20,000 personnel were trained and certified through our environmental and safety training programs.
We remain steadfast to these environmental protections and restoring the land to its original preconstruction contours as we move into the operations phase.
As an operating principle, Rover worked with individual landowners to make accommodations and is continuing to work towards full restoration of impacted land. Rover Pipeline is complying with the FERC Plan and Procedures and all regulatory requirements that govern, and typically dictate, the restoration techniques required for a regulated natural gas pipeline.
In general, the restoration includes, but is not limited to, restoring the project area to preconstruction contours, allowing temporary workspaces to return to previous land use, and maintaining only minimal widths of right-of-way in a herbaceous state within forested wetlands. Agricultural areas are restored according to the Agricultural Impact Mitigation Plan and landowner requirements, which means that all soils were placed back into the ditch as they were taken out; the soils were then de-compacted and a native vegetative cover type was applied to the disturbed portion of the right-of-way; and property-specific seed mixes were applied if the seed mix was available. For forested habitat, Rover Pipeline did not plant trees, but will also not continue to cut or maintain the temporary work areas, which will facilitate forested habitat restoration.
Rover enlisted the services of Land Stewards LLC, an Ohio-based consultancy of agricultural engineers, drainage contractors, agronomists, and conservation planners, who provided their expertise to develop plans that mitigate and restore any impacts to agriculture lands that may be traversed by the pipeline in Ohio and Michigan.
During the construction of the pipeline, more than 20,000 construction specialists in the construction industry such as electricians, welding technicians and various other specialized tradesman, worked across Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Michigan to ensure the safety of the community and the integrity of the project remained intact. Pipeline construction for projects like Rover take place in what are called “spreads”, with multiple spreads under construction simultaneously within each state.
Construction is complete and the pipeline is fully operational.
For more information about general construction of pipelines, please click on the Typical Pipeline Construction Sequence below.
Horizontal Directional Drilling
Horizontal directional drilling (HDD) is a less impactful method to install underground pipes rather than digging an open trench to bury the pipe. The use of this method greatly reduces the environmental impact and disruption to roadways and other existing infrastructure during construction. HDD construction also improves the safety and protection of the pipeline from potential third-party damage once in operation due to the additional depth that can be achieved. This method is used to install pipelines underneath waterways, wetlands, and congested neighborhoods and roads. In the case of Rover, 49 HDDs were used in the construction of the 713-mile pipeline.