The Rover Pipeline Project (Rover) is a new 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 West Virginia, Pennsylvania, 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. Rover anticipates that the new pipeline and its related facilities to Defiance, Ohio will be ready for service in Mid-2017 with an in-service to Vector/Dawn Hub in November 2017.

The following are questions and answers about landowner communications and contacts as well as the easement process, including the rights afforded to each landowner. If you are a landowner and have additional questions, please use the project’s toll-free number at 1-888-844-3718.

  • What rights do owners have with respect to having a pipeline located on their property?

    Property owners are entitled by law to receive compensation for having a pipeline on their property. Rover intends to work closely with each landowner to address specific questions or concerns they may have on the proposed 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.

  • What is the role of a land agent?

    A land agent’s role is to serve as the primary point of contact for landowners along the proposed 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 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.

  • What is a voluntary land survey?

    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 a survey are looking for wetlands, endangered species and habitat. The cultural survey will include 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. Granting permission to survey land does not give up any rights of the landowner. A survey does not commit the landowner to agree to any form of easement and overall it facilitates 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.

  • When will land owners be notified if pipeline routing surveyors are scheduled to arrive in my area and how far out from my property will I be notified of their presence?

    All affected landowners have been notified at this point and have received several notices. In the event Rover Pipeline requires survey permission, the landowner will receive a written notice as well as a phone call requesting survey permission. Additionally, a land agent may come to the home of the landowner to verbally request permission. In the event survey permission is granted, Rover Pipeline will provide as much notice as necessary to allow the landowner to be present during the survey. Notice is typically only provided to the affected landowner where the survey is occurring.

  • What if I do not respond or deny surveyors access to my property?

    To date, Rover Pipeline has attempted to notify all landowners along the route in writing three or more times and, in some cases, verbally or by visiting the landowner’s home to solicit survey permission. The majority of landowners have been responsive and provided the project with direct input regarding the routing.

    If a landowner has been unresponsive or has not specifically denied survey permission, under Michigan state law, surveyors are permitted brief access to the property to conduct surveys only. We have worked to minimize this option and work tirelessly to contact landowners. No surveyors should be on property where we have been asked to not come onto the property.

    To date, Rover Pipeline has attempted to notify all landowners in writing on three different occasions and in some circumstances more either verbally or by visiting the landowner’s home to solicit survey permission. As a result of the notifications, if the Landowner’s have provided the teams with a definitive “no” response in regards to entry onto their property – either verbally or written, we have made note of it in our records and have remained off of that property. However, in the state of Michigan, if a landowner rejects a company’s survey request, laws may require the project to obtain court mandated survey access to conduct civil, environmental or cultural surveys. In those occurrences where a court order is required for survey, the landowner may be responsible for legal fees related to such proceeding should the court mandate such payment.

  • What is your procedure if we refuse to allow you to enter our property to survey or for other purposes? Is it true that the company can get a court order?

    Rover’s goal is to work with all landowners to obtain voluntary survey permission and to be good neighbors in the communities where we operate. In order for Rover to meet the Federal and state requirements to route, design, construct and operate a pipeline, we are required to conduct a civil survey, cultural, environmental and other data. In the event that survey permission is denied, laws in each state we propose to operate may require the project to obtain the court’s permission to survey property. In those occurrences where a court order is required for survey, the landowner may be responsible for legal fees related to the proceeding, should the court mandate such payment.

  • How and when will property owners be compensated for their land?

    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 (non-taxable). 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 has scheduled easement acquisitions to commence in November 2014.

  • What happens if a landowner and Rover Pipeline cannot agree on an easement?

    Our goal is to reach an agreement with property owners through negotiations to sign an easement voluntarily 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.

  • What is the impact of home values over time that are adjacent to recently constructed pipelines? (or at least near other Energy Transfer pipelines)?

    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.

  • How close will the pipeline get to residences?

    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 proposed route.

  • How close to the pipeline may new homes be built?

    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.

  • How wide will the pipeline easement be on my land?

    The final permanent easement will be 50 or 60 feet wide. Where there are two pipelines, Rover is requesting a 60 foot wide permanent easement and where there is one pipeline proposed, we are seeking a 50 foot permanent easement. Additionally, we are also requesting additional temporary work space of 25 to 100 feet for temporary work space. Rover may also need additional temporary workspace in certain areas, such as at road, railroad or stream crossings, to accommodate specific construction activities.

  • How far of a distance from a compressor station can noise level be heard?

    The Rover project team is working to locate compressor stations in remote areas to avoid any impact on residents, businesses or livestock. The project is also planning locations near trees and other vegetative cover, which typically dampen noise levels. The FERC limits noise levels from compressor stations to 55 dBA (decibels A-weighted) at the nearest noise receptor (e.g. house). To get a sense of how loud it is, a gas lawnmower 100 feet away is roughly 70 dBA. If trees are present and are located around the compressor station, most times, a person cannot hear the compressor station. In areas where home or other noise sensitive areas may exist and there are no trees or natural noise buffers, special noise attenuation is added to the compressor buildings to mitigate any noise impacts to the surrounding neighbors and limits the noise to standard background or natural noise levels in the immediate area of the compressor station. The FERC limits this to 55 dBA (decibels A-weighted) at the nearest noise receptor (e.g. house). This compares to a quiet urban daytime setting. Compare this to a gas lawnmower at 3 feet which is around 100 dBA or at 100 feet which is 70 dBA.

  • Will I be able to use the surface area of my easement once construction is finished?

    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.

  • Since Rover is putting their pipeline on my property, can you sell gas to me?

    Rover Pipeline LLC is not a local distribution company and cannot provide individual residential gas service. Also, Rover is a high pressure, 42-inch diameter transmission pipeline that would require residential customers to buy prohibitively expensive metering and regulating equipment to receive sales service from Rover. We suggest that you contact your local distribution company and inquire about residential service from their distribution lines.

  • How does eminent domain apply to this project?

    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.

  • Will the Rover pipeline deliver natural gas to Michigan and the U.S. on a firm or interruptible schedule?

    Firm service is planned. Rover Pipeline is currently in negotiation with the interconnecting parties to plan and site the proposed interconnects. The shippers on Rover Pipeline have firm, long term transportation service with primary ownership of the service to the delivery points, therefor making those deliveries firm. As far as the locations, those are currently in the planning stage.

    Approximately 78% of gas moved through the Rover Pipeline will be utilized by customers on the U.S. segments of the pipeline, including multiple take-off points in Michigan and Ohio. The Michigan and Ohio access points interconnect with multiple Local Distribution Company gas systems serving customers throughout the states. Up to 18% of the total volume of the pipeline is expected to be delivered through these Michigan-based networks alone. The remainder of the U.S. volume will serve customers across Ohio, the greater Midwest and Gulf Coast.

    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.

  • Why aren’t we doing a better job of promoting energy efficiency and alternatives, which would also create countless local jobs?

    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.