Category Archives: Pipelines

DRN defeats motion to dismiss complaint against Sunoco for Clean Water Act violations

email from Delaware Riverkeeper Network, 2/28/19

On February 12th, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network defeated a motion to dismiss filed by Sunoco Pipeline L.P., allowing the case to proceed. The Delaware Riverkeeper Network’s complaint was filed in June 2018 against Sunoco for their failure to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit (NPDES permit) for the Mariner East 2 pipeline project and the Wild and Scenic Delaware River.

“Our government officials have not required pipeline companies like Sunoco to comply with the pollution permitting requirements of the Clean Water Act, they have allowed the companies to evade this mandate of the law entirely,” stated Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper.

Read more in pdf: Sunoco_MTD_Denial_2.13.2019_

What we have learned about Mariner East since the latest sinkhole

letter, Daily Local News, 2/4/19 (in print 2/14/19)

On Sunday January 20th, 2019, yet another sinkhole opened up in a residential backyard in West Whiteland Township, exposing Mariner East 1. Mariner East 1 is an 80 year old pipeline that was repurposed and its flow reversed (against PHMSA recommendations) in 2014 to carry dangerous Natural Gas Liquids across Pennsylvania to be shipped overseas to make plastic. This is the 4th sinkhole on this street in 14 months, all caused by the Mariner East project. Directly impacted residents notified Sunoco, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and called 911.

It has become clear that the PUC is not an unbiased regulator when it comes to the oil and gas industry. Senator Dinniman even recently stated “It’s like the Public Utility Commission is all ‘utility’ and no ‘public’.”

The PUC is using the ARM Group, which is a full-service science and engineering consulting firm, “to monitor geological testing of the site and analyze the results for the PUC investigators”. The ARM Group is the same firm that was utilized last spring after previous sinkholes and ground subsidence concerns. According to that 2018 report, the ARM Group concluded that “the corrective actions taken and planned to be taken by Sunoco Pipeline L.P. (grouting and post-grouting monitoring program) as described herein will be sufficient to mitigate the risk to the integrity of the ME1 Pipeline”. To summarize, less than 9 months after the ARM Group determined this location to be stable, another sinkhole appeared, and the PUC has contracted them to do the same work again. Continue reading

New Sinkhole Opens Up Along Mariner East 1 In Chester County

By Justin Heinze, Patch, Jan 21, 2019

A new sinkhole has opened up along the Mariner East 1 pipeline in Chesco, in the same area that lawmakers noted safety concerns last year.

CHESTER COUNTY, PA — Yet another sinkhole has opened up along the Mariner East 1 pipeline funneling natural gas through Chester County, causing it to shut down. The sinkhole is in the same area that lawmakers noted safety concerns last summer, before the pipeline was allowed to continue operations.

This episode occurred on Sunday in West Whiteland Township on Lisa Drive.

Its the latest incident connected to the controversial pipeline, which, along with Sunoco’s other constrction that runs through Chester County, has led to bipartisan calls for greater oversight and fueled a criminal investigation into Sunoco. …

keep reading at Patch

Criminal Investigation Opened Into Sunoco, Chester Co. Pipelines

By Justin Heinze, Patch, Dec 19, 2018

Breaking: Sunoco is now under investigation in Chester County for potential crimes in the construction of the Mariner East pipelines.

CHESTER COUNTY, PA — After years of controversy, environmental damage, and public calls for government action, Sunoco is now under investigation in Chester County for potential crimes in the construction of the Mariner East pipelines.

Sunoco has been the focus of ire of local environmentalists and state lawmakers for some time, following numerous drilling fluid spills, sinkholes, the contamination of drinking water, and more.

State Sen. Andy Dinniman has led the charge in what he has previously termed a “David vs. Goliath” fight against Sunoco and their drilling operations. That culminated last year with a judge ordering Sunoco to halt all operations, and then again this year with a $12.6 million fine against Sunoco for safety violations.

However, construction on Mariner East 2 has continued, and concerns over the pipeline persist.

“In the last two years, we have seen these pipelines rip through the heart of Chester County,” DA Tom Hogan said in a statement Wednesday. “We have seen sinkholes created by the pipeline drilling, contaminated well water, and some subtle and not-so-sublte bullying of Chester County citizens by big corporate interests.” …

read more at Patch

You’ll Never Even Know We Were Here,’ Sunoco Told Ginny. They Lied

Food and Water Watch, 12/2/18, 12/2/18

When Sunoco/Energy Transfer Partners came to Chester and Delaware counties just outside of Philadelphia to push their plans to drill, they didn’t dream that Ginny and her community would put up the fight that they have. Now that these neighbors have had some success in tangling Sunoco’s plans, they’re planning to fight even harder to get the company’s pipelines out of their yards.

When Ginny Marcille-Kerslake looks back on the last two years of damage to her community, what upsets her the most is the fact that Sunoco/Energy Transfer Partners lied to her.

“You’ll never even know we were here,” is what the fossil fuel corporation said, according to residents who were talked into getting on board with their underground drilling plan for the Mariner East 2 and 2X pipelines, which would transport highly explosive liquids right through their community.

It’s become something of a sick punchline now that time has shown the havoc Sunoco/ETP would wreak on residents’ homes, yards, safety, and property values, not to mention their time, energy, and peace of mind….

read more at Food and Water Watch, 12/2/18

Act Now: Protesting Shouldn’t Be A Felony

Text and petition from Sierra Club

To please corporate interests, our elected officials are willing to make protests a felony. SB 652 would make trespass on or in a ‘critical infrastructure facility’ a felony. The bill broadly defines ‘critical infrastructure’ to include oil refineries, natural gas facilities and pipelines, railroad tracks, cell towers, and many other sites.

Under this bill, what are currently summary or misdemeanor offenses, would become felonies punishable by up to two years in prison and minimum fines of $5,000 – $10,000. This bill would even make it illegal to plan a protest that would involve trespass, regardless of whether or not you actually trespass.

It’s no coincidence that this bill has been introduced in Pennsylvania, where there’s been continuous opposition to proposed natural gas infrastructure. This is an obvious attempt to silence and suppress those who speak out against environmental degradation and corporate recklessness.

This terrible bill has already passed the Senate. Let’s make sure it goes no further.