FERC has approved Energy Transfer Partners’ request to revise the horizontal directional drill (HDD) profile for the East Austin Road (River Raisin) HDD in Washtenaw County, Michigan.
On Oct. 11, 2017, FERC staff authorized Rover Pipeline, LLC (Rover) to resume HDD activities subject to certain conditions. However, according to FERC’s Kevin Bowman, due to geologic conditions associated with coarse-grained materials (cobbles and boulders) encountered during pilot hole drilling which led to an inadvertent return (IR) of drilling fluids into the River Raisin, Energy Transfer Partners now proposes to revise its drill profile to locate the drill deeper into consolidated bedrock.
Bowman added that FERC’s third-party HDD contractor J.D. Hair & Associates, Inc. has reviewed Energy Transfer Partners’ proposal and concludes that the revised drilling profile will maximize the success of the drill and reduce the potential for an IR, which will also help to avoid impacts on federally listed mussel species in the river.
In addition, this authorization does not impact the Office of Enforcement’s (OE) ongoing investigation into the circumstances of the drilling fluid contamination at the Tuscarawas River HDD site, and Energy Transfer Partners is expected to fully cooperate with that investigation.