Pipeline firm cited for 2M-gallon spill in Ohio wetlands

CLEVELAND (AP) — A Texas company building a high-pressure pipeline to carry natural gas from Appalachia has been issued violation notices for spilling a total of about 2 million gallons of drilling fluid into two separate wetlands last week, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency said.

About 2 million gallons of the non-toxic, clay-based lubricant spilled April 13 as Rover Pipeline employees drilled horizontally beneath the Tuscarawas River near Navarre in Stark County, about 60 miles south of Cleveland.

EPA spokesman James Lee said Thursday that none of the clay mud, called bentonite, reached the river.

The spill, covering 500,000 square feet, was caused by pressure during drilling that allowed mud to rise to the surface, Lee said.

The next day, about 50,000 gallons of bentonite spilled in Richland County, about 70 miles northeast of Columbus, after a pump failed.

No bentonite has been found in private water wells or public water systems from either spill, Lee said.

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