Rover Pipeline donates to area EMAs

PRESENTATION — William Barth, from left, Dutch Schuman and Susan King, all with Rover Pipeline, stand with Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency Director John Parker. Jefferson County, along with Belmont and Harrison counties, received a check for $10,000 on Wednesday from the Rover officials. Parker said he plans to use the money to purchase fire suppression foam for his agency. -- Dylan McKenzie

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Rover Pipeline officials presented checks to three area Emergency Management Agencies on Wednesday, giving the organizations the ability to purchase tools and training they need for their jobs.

The Rover project is a 713-mile pipeline that carries natural gas from Michigan to Pennsylvania, passing through 18 Ohio counties along the way. It is designed to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale fields to markets in the United States and Canada. The overall cost of the pipeline project is projected at $4.2 billion.

William Barth, senior specialist for emergency response with Rover, said the donations give first responders the tools they need to respond to community emergencies as efficiently as possible, whether the pipeline is involved or not.

“We’re here to interface and create working rapport,” Barth said, adding that a good working relationship with local emergency personnel is never a bad thing and that he wants the agencies to have be comfortable working with Rover. “We’re here for the long term.”

Rover officials donated $10,000 each to the Belmont, Harrison and Jefferson county EMAs. The heads of those agencies gathered at the EMA center in Belmont County to receive the donations. Dave Ivan, Eric Wilson and John Parker — directors of the Belmont, Harrison and Jefferson county agencies — each accepted their checks with words of appreciation. The money will go a long way toward providing needed supplies for the EMAs, and each director has an idea of how they will spend the money.

Ivan and Parker plan to use their money to purchase fire suppression foam, which is used to help extinguish fires that involve burning gasoline, oil or other materials containing hydrocarbons. Such fires cannot be extinguished with water; Ivan said the foam smothers the flame, allowing it to be put out safely and efficiently. Both directors said the cost of the foam should use up most of their donations.

Wilson said a majority of his donation will be used to help with the cost of the new emergency operations center in Harrison County. The organization will hopefully be moving to a new location in the county soon, according to Wilson. He said the money would help purchase equipment for the new office, as well as help to cover the cost of any needed renovations.

“It will significantly offset our costs,” Wilson said, adding that he hopes to relocate to the new building, located near the Harrison County Home, within three to six months.

“We’re ecstatic for Jefferson County,” Parker added. “We’ll use the money to purchase the suppression foam in case we have an incident where we would need it, and that funding comes at no cost to the taxpayer.”

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