Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Ohio pipeline, Indiana rejects rate increase

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Ohio pipeline, Indiana rejects rate increase
July 9, 2020 Ian Wendrow
Photo by Matthew Paul Argall via flickr.com cc 2.0

Keep up with energy-related developments in the Great Lakes area with Great Lakes Now’s biweekly headline roundup.

In this edition: 713-mile Rover Pipeline at center of legal dispute between Ohio EPA and Ohio Supreme Court; Hi-Crush Inc., frac sand company filing for bankruptcy after reporting negative revenue, defaulting on loans; and Indiana regulators reject utility rate increase request.

Click on the headline to read the full story:


U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in Washington, D.C. ordered the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, which has planned expansions into Illinois and neighboring states, to shut down within 30 days of the order issued on Monday, July 6. Boasberg’s ruling was issued in order to facilitate further environmental reviews on the pipeline more than three years after it began operation. 

Dakota Access Pipeline, LLC were contemplating doubling the carrying capacity of the pipeline connected to an existing one in Illinois, raising the risk of a potential oil spill, according to director Jack Darin of the Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club. 


A June 29 order from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission denied a multi-utility request to defer costs and losses associated with COVID-19, and to recover the lost revenue with temporary rate increases. 

The Wisconsin Public Service Commission has stopped similar actions, while leaders in Michigan and Virginia have also expressed disapproval of revenue recovery efforts by utilities.


Ohio’s Supreme Court is reviewing a case determining whether or not the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has the jurisdiction to enforce the Clean Water Act against Rover Pipeline LLC, the company responsible for a $4.2 billion pipeline carrying natural gas through 18 Ohio counties and parts of Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. 

Rover Pipeline LLC argues that the Ohio EPA waived its jurisdiction after failing to respond to several certification requests within a year. Built in 2017, the Ohio EPA is seeking to hold the pipeline company accountable for dumping millions of gallons of mud mixed with diesel fuel into wetlands and near water wells used by the Canton Water Department and Aqua Ohio. 

A Monroe County activist group’s attempt to reopen negotiations for DTE Energy’s Fermi 2 license extension has been rejected by a federal tribunal that considers challenges to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission decisions.

At issue is the stability of spent fuel stored inside DTE’s Fermi 2 nuclear plant, which sits along the western Lake Erie shoreline in northern Monroe County about 30 miles from downtown Toledo.


Hi-Crush Inc., a frac sand company which operates four mines within the state of Wisconsin, is expected to file for bankruptcy and shut down its mining sites after reporting revenue losses of $147 million in first quarter 2020 and defaulting on loans. Wisconsin mines produced what is referred to as “northern sands,” which have been losing out to “in-basin” sands mined near active oil fields in states like Texas. Holding ponds for water waste left over from frac sand operations can contain high concentrations of heavy metals like arsenic and lead, posing a threat to neighboring waterways should they leak.

Catch up on other Great Lakes energy headlines here:

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Lake Huron nuclear waste storage plan dropped, renewable energy in Midland

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Hydrogen-from-nuclear plants, coal tar and diesel fuel barge beached, Line 3 in Minnesota

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Ohio wind power in Lake Erie, solar projects stall in Illinois, major Wisconsin coal plant to close

Featured image: Power lines and trees. (Photo by Matthew Paul Argall via flickr.com cc 2.0)


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