Medical

Pennsylvania allows Sunoco to resume work on Mariner NGL pipeline

Pennsylvania allows Sunoco to resume work on Mariner NGL pipeline

This was corrected on 02/08/2018 at 04:35 PM.

Sunoco is agreeing to pay more than $12 million as part of the agreement that allows work to continue on the $2.5 billion Mariner East 2 project.

Locally and across the state, the Mariner East 2 has faced opposition from environmentalists and property rights advocates, who view the pipeline as a potential risk.

As a result of the deal, the state agency has lifted a ban on construction on the controversial pipeline that will deliver hundreds of thousands of barrels of ethane, propane and butane across the full width of Pennsylvania, through large swaths of DE and Chester counties, to the former refinery site in Marcus Hook.

Sunoco says it is committed to complying with the terms of the agreement and considers safety a top priority. Critics doubt that the DEP's decision to lift a stop-work order will ensure fewer environmental violations when construction resumes.

Completion was initially expected in the third quarter of 2017, but the DEP ordered the company to stop some work on the project in July following fluid spills from horizontal directional drilling activities.

Sunoco spokesman Jeff Shields says the company strongly disagrees with DEP's legal conclusions that its conduct was "willful and egregious" but has decided against continued litigation.




But Food & Water Watch organizer Sam Rubin said DEP has made "an outrageous deal" that "sacrifices the health and safety of Pennsylvanians for mere pocket change from Sunoco".

"Nothing in this agreement adequately addresses our ongoing concerns regarding the proximity of the pipeline to schools, daycare facilities, parks, libraries, and senior living communities", Dinniman said in a statement.

"Throughout the life of this project, DEP has consistently held this operator to the highest standard possible", DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell said in a release.

She said texts recently published by StateImpact showing discussions between Gov. Tom Wolf's officials and the DEP shortly before the permits were issued revive questions about whether the DEP issued the permits because of pressure from the governor.

Sunoco Pipeline is a unit of Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners LP. "DEP's action proves that regulators are being an effective watchdog to ensure safe, responsible development".

After reviewing all submitted materials, and conducting extensive additional inspection activities since the suspension was issued, DEP has approved the submissions as meeting all of the requirements to submit information in the January 3, 2018 Order.


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