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Energy Transfer LP

Energy Transfer LP (ET) Fined $40 Million for Polluting of Tuscarawas River by its Third-Party Contractor

A shareholder filed a class action on behalf of all persons who purchased or otherwise acquired Energy Transfer LP (NYSE: ET) stock between April 13, 2017 and December 20, 2021, for violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  Energy Transfer engages in natural gas and propane pipeline transport.

According to the complaint, on August 8, 2019, Energy Transfer filed its quarterly report on Form 10-Q with the SEC, reporting the Partnership’s financial and operating results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2019 (the “2Q19 10-Q”). The 2Q19 10-Q disclosed that two years earlier, in mid-2017, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) Enforcement Staff began a non-public formal investigation “regarding allegations that diesel fuel may have been included in the drilling mud at the Tuscarawas River HDD.” As a result of this news, the price of Energy Transfer stock declined 4.6% over two trading days, to close at $13.38 on August 12, 2019.

Then on December 16, 2021, FERC publicly issued to Energy Transfer the Order To Show Cause And Notice of Proposed Penalty, which proposed a $40 million fine for the inadvertent release incident.  On this news, the price of Energy Transfer shares declined $0.24, or 2.8% over the course of two trading days, to close at $8.25, on December 20, 2021.

During the class period, defendants concealed that Energy Transfer had inadequate internal controls and procedures to prevent contractors from engaging in illegal conduct with regard to drilling activities, and/or failed to properly mitigate known issues related to such controls and procedures.

Specifically, Energy Transfer through its subsidiary Rover Pipeline, LLC hired a third-party contractor to conduct Horizontal Directional Drilling Activities for the Rover Pipeline Project, whose conduct of adding illegal additives in the drilling mud caused severe pollution near the Tuscarawas River when a large inadvertent release took place on April 13, 2017 (the “April 13 Release”).  Energy Transfer continually downplayed its potential civil liabilities when the FERC was actively investigating the Partnership’s wrongdoing related to the April 13 Release and consistently provided it with updated information about FERC’s findings on this matter. These issues were foreseeably likely to subject Energy Transfer to increased governmental scrutiny and enforcement, as well as increased reputational and financial harm, and would also materially impact Energy Transfer’s financial results.


Next Steps: If you acquired shares of Energy Transfer LP (LP) stock between April 13, 2017 and December 20, 2021, you have until August 2, 2022, to ask the court to appoint you lead plaintiff for the class.  A lead plaintiff is a representative party acting on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation.  You do not have to participate in the case to be eligible for a recovery.   

All representation is on a contingency fee basis. Shareholders pay no fees or expenses.

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