Frequently Asked Questions
The Rover Pipeline Project (Rover) is an interstate natural gas pipeline system that will transport 3.25 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/day) of natural gas through approximately 713 miles of 24-inch, 30- inch, 36-inch, and 42-inch diameter underground pipeline through Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and Michigan.
The project also includes the installation of four new mainline compressor stations and six new supply compressor stations, associated meter stations, and other above ground ancillary facilities.
The purpose of the Rover Pipeline Project is to safely transport American natural gas to consumers across the United States and provide any excess gas to Canadas Dawn Hub in Ontario, Canada. U.S. natural gas production is forecast to increase by 44% by 2040; however, production is not expected to come from traditional supply areas. For example, historic supplies from the Gulf of Mexico are down 46% over the past 5 years. The new gas that will replace the historic supplies is mostly going to originate from the Marcellus and Utica Shale formations, where pipelines such as Rover will carry this abundant new supply to market. The Rover Pipeline will provide a reliable, long-term supply of low-cost natural gas to the United States and specifically will provide a local and reliable source of gas for the consumers in Michigan and Ohio, which today are largely dependent upon out-of-state production to meet their supply needs.
Rover Pipeline LLC is a company under the Energy Transfer Partners umbrella formed to safely and reliably transport clean, low-cost and reliable natural gas from shale formations in Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio to distribution points in Western Ohio, West Virginia, Michigan, and Canada. The Rover Pipeline Project has entered into multi year contracts with producers to transport natural gas to markets that can reach all the regions of the U.S. for consumption to fuel our economy. This gas will be used to heat our homes, fuel our kitchens, and provide a critical fuel to support our domestic manufacturing and electric generation supply chains.
Energy Transfer, and its combined affiliates, is the largest pipeline company in the U.S. by annual volume transported and the second-largest U.S. pipeline company measured by infrastructure – with more than 71,000 miles of pipeline. Specifically, Energy Transfer and its interstate pipelines have supplied natural gas service throughout the country for more than 60 years through an extensive network of underground pipelines. For other non-gas pipelines, we have operated pipelines since the early 1900s. In fact, some of our earliest pipeline operations have existed and currently operate in Michigan and Ohio today. We have designed, built, and safely operated natural gas pipelines across the United States and are industry leaders in our operations, with some of the most reliable and safest pipelines in the country. Our employees ensure our pipelines operate safely, efficiently, and reliably year-round and in compliance with all federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
It is Energy Transfers policy to buy American-made products whenever possible. Approximately 76% of the Rover pipe is being made in the U.S. Rover is also purchasing its valve actuators, flanges and fittings and its compressors from Ohio manufacturers. Overall, the majority of the equipment and greater than $1 billion in goods will be purchased from U.S. manufacturers.
Rover Pipeline is committed to hiring as many local labor and qualified workers as possible to construct and eventually operate the pipeline. To date, Rover Pipeline has committed to utilize union labor resources exclusively to construct the pipeline based upon the large presence of available resources in the region and the unions high-quality craftsmanship and past performance for safety, reliability and quality performance.
Rover Pipeline will provide access to a clean, low-cost and reliable source of U.S. natural gas for decades to come. Locally, during the construction of the Rover Pipeline, goods and services will be purchased from local businesses along the entire route. This will generate significant sales tax revenue for local economies.
The projects estimated 10,000 temporary employees will be staying at local hotels, eating in restaurants and shopping in stores. Additionally, the increased use of local professional services, such as engineering, real estate and, legal and skilled trades, such as surveying and construction as a result of the project will generate state income tax revenues. Rover estimates $147 million in property tax revenue will be paid annually to the states and counties crossed by the pipeline.
No, the Rover Pipeline will transport only natural gas.
The pipeline is a natural gas pipeline under long-term contracts. Rover Pipeline does not have any plans to utilize the pipeline for anything other than natural gas service.
There are no plans for this pipeline to be used for anything other than natural gas service. In fact, the pipeline is substantially committed through 20-year contracts for natural gas service regulated by the FERC. If the pipe for some reason is no longer needed, Rover Pipeline would have to file with the FERC requesting authorization and approval to abandon the facilities and the service rendered by the facilities.
Overall, the Rover Pipeline will transport 3.25 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of gas per day to Defiance, Ohio, via dual 42-inch pipelines. To move that volume of gas, multiple compressor stations are needed - seven in Ohio, two in West Virginia, and one in Pennsylvania. From Defiance to Michigan and beyond, the volume being transported drops to 1.0 Bcf/day with the capacity to transport up to 1.3 Bcf/day. To move that lesser volume, the compressor station located at Defiance, Ohio, is sufficient.
Federal and state highway agencies typically will not grant parallel pipeline easements along their road and highway right-of-ways as they are a conflict for the safety and operation of both the road and pipeline. Highway corridors are often under construction, due to widening, and other repairs.
Once the Rover Pipeline team was able to conduct on-the-ground surveys of the pipeline route, it was determined the route was too congested to route, build and eventually operate the pipeline. Rover subsequently moved the pipeline north to less congested areas. In particular, we made the decision to move the line in order to not require the displacement of 54 families/homes along the existing Enbridge 6B pipeline route.
This is inaccurate and a rumor we have worked to correct. Neither the Rover Pipeline nor its parent and affiliate (Energy Transfer and Trunkline Gas Company) sold a pipeline in Michigan to Enbridge. The 30-inch diameter pipeline, for which Trunkline Gas Company received authorization from the FERC to abandon, was becoming underutilized because natural gas supply from the Gulf of Mexico had declined almost 46% over the past 5 years. In addition, the interstate natural gas market continued to change with new sources of gas supply coming online and additional natural gas infrastructure being developed. This provided Trunkline Gas Company’s customers with alternative supply options.
Because of the decline and lack of use, Trunkline Gas Company requested and received authorization from the FERC to abandon the facilities and service in one line and combine its remaining service with an adjacent, parallel 36-inch diameter natural gas pipeline to meet the needs of the customers it services. Additionally, the Trunkline Gas Company pipeline, that was abandoned in 2015, is located in states in the central portion of the United States where they could not physically transport the gas located in Southeastern Ohio, Western Pennsylvania and Northwest West Virginia, where the supply source for Rover Pipeline begins. The pipelines are mutually exclusive and provide independent and different services that are unrelated.
The Rover Pipeline (and its affiliate, Energy Transfer) did not build and does not own or operate Line 6B or any pipelines under the Straits of Mackinac.
Rover Pipeline is aware of other pipelines proposed for the region, but we are not affiliated with these projects. Rover is the first natural gas pipeline to secure long-term contracts (15-20 years) directly with producers and is the most advanced in the FERC application process.
The principal purpose of this pipeline is to serve U.S. consumers. Currently, all the gas transported on Rover will be delivered into the pipeline grid in Ohio, Michigan and West Virginia via eight delivery points. Once delivered into the pipeline grid, the gas will be transported to domestic markets for consumption by commercial, residential or manufacturing consumers. Only the portion of gas that cannot be consumed in the United States is expected to be transported to Canada.
The volume not consumed in the U.S. will be transported to the Dawn Hub in Ontario, Canada where it will be traded on the open market, for consumption either back in the United States, into large-demand markets such as New York or New Jersey, or to customers in Canada.
Ultimately, demand for low-cost natural gas in the United States will determine how much is exported to Canada. Based on the large quantity of natural gas being produced in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, current residential, industrial and manufacturing consumers or local distribution companies in Ohio and Michigan may not require the entire amount of available gas coming from the production area. Eventually as infrastructure within the U.S. increases to take advantage of this new, low-cost and reliable supply of natural gas, the deliveries to Canada are suspected to decrease as local or domestic demand increases.
Pipelines play a vital role in our daily lives and provide a critical link between the sources of natural gas in production fields and end-users or consumers. Without pipelines, the majority of the United States would not have access to low-cost natural gas and would have to rely upon foreign sources of less reliable, less available, and much more expensive sources of energy to generate electricity, heat our homes and drive our industrial and manufacturing industries.
Pipelines are the safest method of transporting natural gas, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Specially designed to meet or exceed state and federal safety standards and carefully constructed, today there are more than 300,000 miles of natural gas pipelines in operation in the United States. Pipelines are designed and maintained to last many decades and withstand extreme weather environments.
Underground pipelines are the safest mode of transporting natural gas, and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) statistics show that underground pipelines transport natural gas far more safely than ships, railcars, or trucks. In the United States, the U.S. Department of Transportation is responsible for ensuring safety of the design, construction, operation and maintenance of interstate pipelines.
Energy Transfer operates more than 71,000 miles of pipelines in the U.S. and is very proud of its safety record. It is among the best in the country in the operation and maintenance of its pipelines.
Energy Transfer has long-standing commitments to the safety of people, the environment, and our property and assets. We do this because it makes good business sense, but more importantly, it is the right thing to do. These commitments are held as fundamental core values and are an integral part of us as a partnership and a corporate citizen. To learn more about our safety statement, visit www.roverpipelinefacts.com/safety-commitment.html.
At Energy Transfer and with Rover Pipeline, safety is our top priority. Our goal is to provide safe and reliable natural gas service to the communities we cross and to the customers we serve. Rover Pipeline implements all Federal standards into the design and operations of the pipeline, and in many instances, we exceed Federal standards to ensure a safe and reliable pipeline. Some of the safety measures we are incorporating into Rover include:
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
FERC is an independent federal agency that regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil. FERC also reviews proposals to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and interstate natural gas pipelines as well as licensing hydropower projects.
Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (U.S. Dept. of Transportation)
PHMSA is the lead federal agency responsible for ensuring safety in the design, construction, operation and maintenance, and spill response planning of natural gas and liquid transportation pipelines.
Rover is 100% liable for any damage resultant from the pipeline. The landowner is fully indemnified, except for willful misconduct and intentional harm to the pipeline. In addition, the gas that is transported in the pipeline is isolated and confined in the pipeline and, should a leak occur, the natural gas would generally dissipate into the atmosphere since it is lighter than air, eliminating the potential for the gas to mix with the local environment or water well.
Rover Pipeline will be monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year by full-time, trained Gas Control and operations maintenance staff. Rover Pipeline will also be equipped with automated valve technology that will close automatically if conditions indicate a problem. If a problem does occur, Gas Control makes notifications simultaneously through a single alert to ensure a coordinated response begins within minutes.
In addition to regular pipeline integrity testing after the pipeline goes into service, the pipeline will be tested with water under higher-than-normal pressure prior to installation, and regulation devices will be installed to prevent pressure from exceeding safe limits. Construction will include a visual and a non-destructive X-ray inspection of every weld that joins sections of pipe together. Rover Pipeline has also committed to utilize union labor resources exclusively to construct the pipeline based upon the large presence of available resources in the region and the trades’ high-quality craftsmanship and past performance of safety, reliability and quality performance.
FERC, as well as other independent experts, have evaluated this question on several occasions and have concluded there is no evidence that indicates an increase in insurance premiums because of a pipeline.
The Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA), a trade organization that advocates regulatory and legislative positions of importance to the natural gas pipeline industry in North America, released a study in February 2016 demonstrating that:
"Insurance companies and agents interviewed said there was no indication that the presence of a natural gas pipeline would hinder a buyers ability to acquire property insurance. They also said there was no indication that premiums paid for insurance policies would increase because of the proximity to a natural gas pipeline."
The full study is available for download at:
The "buffer zone" is a landowner notification area identified for the purposes of notification in accordance with the FERC process. This area was meant to identify the landowners traversed as well as the abutting property owners along the route.
Rover Pipeline originally designated a quarter (1/4) mile on each side of the centerline of the pipeline for land surveying. The reason for the quarter-mile survey distance is so that Rover could determine environmentally sensitive areas and its constructability options as well as to identify and notify abutting landowners in accordance with the FERC rules.
Separately, the pipeline does require a permanent easement area of 60 feet around the dual 42-inch diameter pipeline and 50 feet around the single pipeline, for which it will compensate landowners. Temporary construction workspace of 25 to100 feet (additional space) may be required depending on site-specific conditions. Rover will work with landowners to enter into a contractual legal agreement holding Rover to certain conditions and ensuring fair compensation to landowners for easements.
The pipeline will be buried underground. It will be covered by a minimum of 3 feet of soil and more if it is crossing unique land areas. In agricultural lands, the pipeline will be buried a minimum of 48 inches. Under roads and streams, the pipeline will be buried a minimum of 60 inches.
Installation of safety valves is based on population/class of pipe.
Class 1 or rural areas – 20-Mile Intervals
Class 2 or moderately dense or semi-urban areas – 15-Mile Intervals
Class 3 or densely populated areas – 7.5-Mile Intervals
Rover has incorporated protection of sensitive resources from the very start of the process to route, design, build and eventually operate the pipeline. During the initial conception of the pipeline and its route, we 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.
During construction and planning, Rover will take extreme caution when crossing sensitive environmental, wetland or resource areas. In these areas, Rover will isolate the construction work area with silt fence and other erosion or sedimentation control techniques to avoid allowing sedimentation to enter into the sensitive area. Rover also will reduce the workspace to the absolute minimum necessary and minimize disturbances to the root systems by only removing the vegetation roots in the trench and passing lanes, both of which are key precautionary measures.
When working in these areas, additional precautionary measures will be taken, isolating fueling equipment or storing the fuels outside the sensitive area to avoid spills, working with low-weight-bearing equipment to minimize rutting and separating the top soil from the subsoil to protect the seed bank are all incorporated into the crossing plans.
Furthermore and when appropriate, utilization of "trenchless" installation technologies, such as conventional bores or horizontal directional drills, where the pipe is installed by pushing and pulling the pipe through the soil with large equipment instead of digging a trench, are employed to minimize impacts. All of the techniques above are examples of how we intend to minimize impacts, but the above is not all-inclusive. For a more detailed explanation of the plans to minimize impacts, please refer to the FERC Wetland and Waterbody Crossing Procedures and Rover Pipeline's site-specific crossing plans, which are part of the FERC filing and can be found on the FERC website under Docket Number CP15-93.
Rover Pipeline has worked with the various federal, state and local environmental agencies as well as environmental groups to identify protected and/or public lands. To date, Rover Pipeline has avoided many tracts under conservation easement, and is working with local groups to further reduce potential impacts. If you are aware of protected lands that may be crossed by the pipeline, please notify Rover Pipeline with the location by calling our toll-free number 1-888-844-3718.
As a company, it is Rover Pipeline’s expectation that our efforts minimize disruptions and leave no long- term footprint. As an operating principle, we work with individual landowners to make accommodations and to achieve full restoration of impacted land. Rover has enlisted the services of Land Stewards LLC, an experienced consultancy of agricultural engineers, drainage contractors, agronomists, and conservation planners, who will lend their expertise to discussions between landowners and Rover to develop plans to mitigate and restore any impacts to agriculture lands that may be traversed by the pipeline in Ohio and Michigan.
Rover Pipeline will comply 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 addition, Rover Pipeline, in coordination and consultation with the land management agencies located in the geographic region, will prepare specific restoration plans for the project area. Although not all of these plans have been developed at this time, Rover Pipeline is in the process of developing these plans and they will be posted by FERC and on the Rover Pipeline's website - www.roverpipelinefacts.com.
In general, the restoration will include, but will not be 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 will be restored according to the Agricultural Impact Mitigation Plan and landowner requirements, which means that all soils will be placed back into the ditch as they were taken out; the soils will be decompacted and a native vegetative cover type will be applied to the disturbed portion of the right-of-way; and property-specific seed mixes can be applied if the seed mix is available. For forested habitat, Rover Pipeline will not plant trees, but will also not continue to cut or maintain the temporary work areas, which will facilitate forested habitat restoration. Therefore, there will not be a longer-term loss of forested habitat as compared to nonforested habitat.
Yes, Rover has routed to the maximum extent the use of or abutting existing or adjacent rights-of-ways.
Rover conducted biological surveys and worked closely with each state’s wildlife resource agencies, as well as he U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to address protected species. A National Environmental Protection Act impact assessment was conducted as part of the FERC 7(c) certificate process and is available to the public as part of the FERC’s Environmental Impact Statement.
Natural gas transported by the Rover Pipeline will not contaminate water wells. Rover makes this commitment for several reasons. First, the pipeline will be shallower than any water well that we cross, eliminating the potential for natural gas to enter into the well. Second, the gas that is transported in the pipeline is isolated and confined in the pipeline. Should a leak occur, the natural gas would dissipate into the atmosphere since it is lighter than air, eliminating the potential for the gas to mix with the water. Last, although the gas will not impact the water, Rover Pipeline will monitor all wells within 150 feet of the pipeline pre and post construction to ensure that the construction activities did not disrupt the well yield.
Property owners are entitled by law to receive compensation for having a pipeline on their property. Rover is working closely with each landowner to address specific questions or concerns they may have on the route, safety protocols, operations, and environmental protections. In addition, Rover will document the landowners’ rights in a contract that the company will live by and fairly compensate impacted landowners for easements and crop impacts. It is our intent to live up to our promises to landowners and the community of openness, honesty and responsiveness to questions and concerns before, during and after construction and throughout operations.
A land agent's role is to serve as the primary point of contact for landowners along the Rover route. If you are a property owner that may be involved in the project, your land agent will meet with you throughout the project, share ongoing project information and timelines, and answer any questions you may have. They will also raise any concerns, comments or suggestions you have to appropriate members of the Rover Pipeline Project Team to make sure that your voice is heard and questions are answered.
Land agents may also coordinate with landowners for survey permissions and ultimately easement agreements (i.e., a grant of easement) that meet landowners’ individual needs.
Civil, environmental, and cultural surveys along the route are required to complete FERC requirements for a reasonable route and to discover and document restrictions. The environmental scientists conducting the survey are looking for wetlands, endangered species and habitat. The cultural survey includes archeologists searching for evidence of artifacts, burial grounds, and other historical sites.
Rover Pipeline requests voluntary entry to survey, and makes all efforts to secure voluntary entry. A landowner who grants permission to survey does not give up any rights. A survey does not commit the landowner to agree to any form of easement. Overall surveys facilitate the routing of the pipeline to avoid landowner concerns. With open communication, the landowners are able to provide direct comments to the company regarding the routing.
Qualified local real estate appraisers will conduct appraisals to help Rover Pipeline assess property values and how those values will be affected by pipeline construction. Rover Pipeline will base offers of compensation upon these professional appraisals. Easement payments are typically based upon two categories: 1) permanent easement and 2) property/crop damages (nontaxable).
Land values usually do not decrease due to the installation of pipelines or utilities. Improvements value could be affected by the installation of pipelines, which will be factored into the easement compensation. Rover began easement acquisitions in November 2014.
Our goal is to negotiate with landowners to reach an agreement at a fair price. Historically, we have reached such agreements with the vast majority of property owners involved with Energy Transfer pipeline projects. In a small number of cases, however, an agreement cannot be reached. At this point, various legal options are available both to property owners and Rover Pipeline.
Based on general market studies and research, appraisals and real estate principles, Rover Pipeline is unaware of any data that suggests a pipeline negatively impacts land values. In the event an appraisal does indicate a negative impact on home values, that reduction in value will be compensated for as part of the easement payment.
Pipelines are typically located well away from residences and in no event will the pipeline be located fewer than 25 feet to the centerline of the pipeline. In most, if not all cases, homes will not be located closer than a few hundred feet. Rover will be able to determine the exact distance from the pipeline to residences once we have completed surveying the route.
Permanent structures or homes cannot be built on the permanent easement area. It is Rover Pipeline's preference to have a few hundred feet of separation between the home and the pipe.
The final permanent easement will be 50 or 60 feet wide. Where there are two pipelines, Rover is requesting a 60-footwide permanent easement and where there is one pipeline, we are seeking a 50-foot permanent easement. Additionally, we are also requesting an additional 25 to 100 feet for temporary workspace. Rover may also need additional temporary workspace in certain areas, such as at road, railroad or stream crossings, to accommodate specific construction activities.
Compressor stations along the pipeline will be housed in thick-walled structures to reduce residual sound, and will follow the FERC’s regulations for noise transmission. Regulations require that a compressor station’s average noise level does not exceed 55 decibels at nearest noise sensitive area (e.g., residences, schools, hospitals, etc.).
Yes, in most cases property owners will be able to use the pipeline right-of-way just as they did before construction. Agricultural activities such as growing crops and pasturing livestock can resume as soon as the land is ready. To ensure safe, long-term operations, restrictions may apply, including, and typically limited to, no permanent structures built within the permanent easement and no trees planted within 15 feet of the pipe centerline and in some instances 25 feet.
No, Rover Pipeline is not a local distribution company and cannot provide individual residential gas service. We suggest that you contact your local distribution company and inquire about residential service from their distribution lines.
Under federal policy for natural gas that is transported for sale and crosses state lines, the pipeline system that is providing the transportation (e.g., Rover Pipeline) is governed by and certificated under the Natural Gas Act 1938 ("NGA"). Pursuant to the NGA, once (and if) the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issues a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity, Rover Pipeline will be afforded the right of eminent domain. It is our stated intent to use this authority as little as possible – only as a last resort – on this project.
The scope of the project and its purpose and need are evaluated at the federal level, to preserve the free flow in interstate commerce and promote national energy and economic interests. Accordingly, the right of eminent domain does not exclude or distinguish between portions of the project in a particular state or area, but evaluates the regional and national benefits and necessity.
For any specific questions regarding FERC’s policies on eminent domain, Rover Pipeline would encourage landowners to reach out to FERC.
The Rover Pipeline is proposing to transport U.S. natural gas, which is widely known to be one of the most efficient and cleanest-burning fuels. In fact, factories manufacturing clean energy alternatives, such as wind turbines and solar panels, and energy-efficient appliances are primarily powered by natural gas. The Rover Pipeline is committed to safely transporting a cleaner, low-cost alternative to conventional energy sources, such as propane, heating oils, and coal, which are common fuels in the Ohio and Michigan markets.
Rover Pipeline filed a request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to commence the FERC's Pre-Filing Review Process in June 2014 and filed the application on February 20, 2015. The Docket Number is CP15-93.
The FERC is a reliable source of information. FERC staff members can be reached at 202-502-8004.
Their mailing address is:
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Office of External Affairs
888 First Street, NE Washington, DC 20426
•• Information such as "An Interstate Natural Gas Facility On My Land? What Do I Need to Know?" is also available through the FERC website at:
User assistance for the FERC website is available at 1-866-208-3676.