A class 2 brine disposal well in western Louisiana near the Texas border in this photo from ProPublica.

An oil company wants to drill an injection well in Lenawee County. What does it mean?

So let’s say you’ve been drilling for oil and gas. You’ve been doing it for a while, and you have a whole lot of brine — that is, salty water that gets brought to the surface while you’re extracting your black gold from down below. So what do you do with it all? Well, typically, you inject it back into the ground. There are thousands of injection wells being used for byproduct disposal in the U.S., according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Continue Reading

State Rep. Kurt Heise, R-Plymouth, has introduced a bill to exempt information about energy infrastructure from the Michigan Freedom of Information Act.

Lawmakers seek to make pipeline information harder to obtain

A group of Republican lawmakers say they’re only trying to protect Michigan’s energy infrastructure from terrorists. But critics see a much less noble motive for a bill introduced last week in Lansing — namely, making it easier for oil and gas companies to operate in secrecy, keeping information about pipeline safety from the public. HB 4540, introduced by Rep. Kurt Heise of Plymouth, would exempt various information about energy infrastructure from the Michigan Freedom of Information Act. According to the bill’s text, the information that could be kept secret includes anything that “relates details about the production, generation, transportation, transmission, or distribution of fuel or energy” or information that “could be useful to a person in planning an attack on critical energy infrastructure.” Heise told the Detroit Free Press in a story published Friday that “we do not want people who may have ill intent to be able to locate the exact location of underground utilities, the pumps and surface machinery that may exist with those underground utilities, so they are protected from harm.” Continue Reading

Lenawee County Commissioner Robert Knoblauch speaks about the proposed Nexus Pipeline during a May 5 meeting in Tecumseh.

Nexus Pipeline’s impact on farming discussed at meeting in Tecumseh

A proposed natural gas pipeline’s impact on farming in Lenawee and Washtenaw counties was the main topic of discussion at a meeting with federal regulators earlier this week in Tecumseh. The proposed Nexus Pipeline would connect a Texas Eastern transmission line in Ohio to existing transmission lines in Michigan, transporting natural gas to Ohio, Michigan, Chicago and Ontario consumers. It would be about 250 miles long and is proposed to be completed toward the end of 2017. The pipeline would cut across the eastern part of Lenawee County. Joanne Wachholder, a project manager for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which hosted the meeting Tuesday night at the Tecumseh Center for the Arts, said the gathering’s purpose was to gather public input for the commission’s environmental impact study. Continue Reading

MLive: Natural gas pipeline ruptures near Chelsea

When people head to Tecumseh for tonight’s public hearing on the Nexus pipeline, it’s probably safe to bet that this will come up. A natural gas pipeline ruptured overnight near Chelsea. Consumers Energy has stated that the line has been sealed. MLive reports:
The line appears to be on or near the Pinckney State Recreation Area. The cause of the rupture is still under investigation, according to the company. Continue Reading

A map of the proposed Nexus pipeline.

Federal regulators to host Nexus Pipeline meeting on Tuesday

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is hosting a public meeting next week to collect input on plans for the Nexus Gas Transmission pipeline, which would run through Lenawee County. The meeting is at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 5, at the Tecumseh Center for the Arts, 400 N. Maumee St., Tecumseh. The meeting is a scoping session, the purpose of which is to let people weigh in on what issues FERC should consider when it conducts its environmental study on a proposed project. For more information about the approval process for a gas pipeline, see this story we published last year about the Rover Pipeline. There are now three companies trying to get permission to run transmission pipelines through Lenawee County: Kinder Morgan (the Utopia East project), Spectra Energy (Nexus) and Energy Transfer Partners (Rover). Continue Reading

Daily Show on pipeline eminent domain

Watch Jon Stewart take on the use of eminent domain for pipelines

For the past several months, we’ve been following the story of the Rover Pipeline, a proposed natural gas transmission line that would pass through Lenawee County. As many readers already know, if the pipeline is approved by federal regulators — in a processs that includes a public meeting scheduled for Dec. 1 at Adrian High School — landowners along the route will find they have no real influence on whether the pipeline goes through their property. That makes this recent Daily Show segment about the use of eminent domain for a different pipeline project — the Keystone Pipeline XL — doubly interesting. It’s not hard to find lawmakers who will rail against eminent domain … Continue Reading

This map from a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission filing shows the route of a proposed natural gas pipeline to Ontario. The pipeline would pass through Lenawee County.

Federal regulators seek input on Rover Pipeline project

Federal regulators studying the proposed Rover Pipeline, a natural gas transmission line that would run through Lenawee County, are seeking public input before their environmental review of the project. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will accept public comments through Dec. 18 during what’s known as a “scoping period.” Comments will be accepted at a series of public meetings, including one at Adrian High School on Dec. 1. Here are the public input meetings scheduled for Michigan:

Chelsea: Thursday, Nov. Continue Reading


Is the Rover Pipeline needed? Detroit Free Press reports company sold off excess capacity two years ago

From the Detroit Free Press comes this story questioning whether the proposed Rover Pipeline is really needed — and using the pipeline company’s own words to do so. The Rover Pipeline would be a major transmission pipeline carrying natural gas through several southeast Michigan counties, including Lenawee. It is being proposed by the ET Rover Pipeline Co., a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners. Here’s what the Free Press said in a story published July 21:
The energy company that wants to build a mega, multi-state natural gas pipeline through six southeast Michigan counties on its way to Sarnia, Ontario, because of what it called “growing markets,” had argued just the opposite when it sold an existing line to another company less than two years ago because it said the capacity wasn’t needed. As the Free Press story mentions, the apparent reversal was first noted by Jeffrey Insko, an Oakland County landowner who runs a blog about pipeline issues. Continue Reading


Link Roundup: Coverage of the Rover natural gas pipeline through Lenawee County

Here’s a collection of recent stories about the proposed Rover Pipeline project, which would run from the drilling operations of Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania to Ontario, passing through Lenawee County along the way. This list includes both our own coverage and stories from other media outlets and blogs that have been covering the issue. Our coverage:

Residents pack open house for Rover Pipeline information (July 15)
13 questions and answers about the Rover Pipeline project (July 10)
Proposed natural gas pipeline would pass through Lenawee County (July 7)

You can continue to find all stories we publish about the Rover Pipeline at this link: adriantoday.com/tag/rover-pipeline. Coverage from other sources:

Open house in Chelsea draws dozens to learn about proposed natural gas pipeline (Jim Pruitt, Washtenaw Now, July 20):
A proposed natural gas pipeline that is slated to run through portions of Washtenaw and Lenawee counties drew a chilly response at an open house on the matter. … Several people who came to the Village Community Center in Chelsea July 15 were disappointed the event was an open house and not a presentation. Continue Reading

People gather around a table with maps of the proposed Rover Pipeline during an open house at the Village Conference Center in Chelsea.

Residents pack open house for Rover Pipeline information

Area residents packed the Village Conference Center in Chelsea this evening for an open house put on by the company seeking to run a natural gas transmission pipeline through southeast Michigan. Map books displayed at the open house gave a more detailed look at the pipeline’s possible path than the map the company has published on its website and filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The pipeline’s proposed path through Lenawee County starts just east of Morenci, then heads roughly north-northeast. It crosses M-34 between Sword and Whig highways, then crosses U.S. 223 just east of Whig and runs to the west of Adrian. It crosses M-50 just west of Tipton, then heads northeast and then north again to the Washtenaw County line. Continue Reading