Pennsylvania state environmental officials have ordered Sunoco to halt construction of a natural gas pipeline across southern Pennsylvania, citing a series of spills and other violations of state law.
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Pennsylvania environmental officials ordered Sunoco to halt construction of a natural gas pipeline yesterday, citing a series of spills and leaks of drilling fluid and other "egregious and willful violations" of state law that have plagued the US$2.5 billion project.
The Department of Environmental Protection said it ordered work on the Mariner East 2 pipeline to stop until Sunoco complies with the terms of its permit. DEP has issued dozens of environmental violations to Sunoco since May, contending the company has demonstrated a "lack of ability or intention" to comply with the state's clean streams law and other environmental regulations.
"Until Sunoco can demonstrate that the permit conditions can and will be followed, DEP has no alternative but to suspend the permits," DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell said in a statement. "We are living up to our promise to hold this project accountable to the strong protections in the permits."
The 350 mile long pipeline will carry propane, butane and ethane from the Marcellus Shale natural gas formation in western Pennsylvania to an export terminal near Philadelphia. Sunoco has said construction on the 20 in. pipeline is scheduled to be complete in the 2Q18, with a companion 16 in. pipeline to be placed into service later this year.
In its order, DEP told Sunoco to "fully explain the failures that led to the violations" and come up with a plan to fix them. The company also has to restore or replace the water supply of two homeowners in a township west of Harrisburg who complained last month about "cloudy water" resulting from pipeline construction.
Pennsylvania’s DEP suspended all construction on Sunoco’s Mariner East 2 pipeline, saying it has violated the conditions of two kinds of permits.
“Sunoco must cease all construction activity on the pipeline project, except for maintenance of erosion controls and limited maintenance of horizontal directional drilling equipment,” the DEP said.
Sunoco has 30 days to submit information to DEP in order for the agency to review whether to allow continued construction of the Mariner East 2. Pipeline spokesman Jeff Shields says the company plans to comply with DEP’s request.
“We intend to expeditiously submit these reports and we are confident that we will be reauthorised to commence work on this project promptly,” said Shields in a statement.
“We also reiterate our commitment to the highest levels of construction expertise and our dedication to preserving and protecting the environment in which we conduct our work.”
Read the article online at: https://www.worldpipelines.com/project-news/04012018/pennsylvania-shuts-down-sunoco-pipeline-construction/