Sunoco pipeline gets another court victory in property fight

The $2.5 billion Mariner East 2 pipeline came online over the weekend following year of work that was fraught with alleged violations flagged by regulators and objections from environmental groups.

Texas-based Energy Transfer said the 350-mile pipeline – which is intended to bring butane, ethane and propane extracted from the Marcellus and Utica shale plays from processing plants in eastern Ohio through West Virginia and Pennsylvania – was entering service on Saturday.

In Washington County, the pipeline cuts through Nottingham, North Strabane, Union and Chartiers townships. A portion also cuts through Rostraver Township in Westmoreland County.

A year ago, the state Department of Environmental Protection ordered a halt to construction on Mariner East 2 and the related 2X project – which is located in the eastern part of the state – because of alleged permit violations. Five weeks later, a consent decree that levied a $12.6 million fine against Energy Transfer subsidiary Sunoco Pipeline allowed work to resume.

In May, the DEP fined Sunoco another $355,000 for violations of the Clean Streams Law that allegedly occurred during construction between May 2017 and last February.

In August, DEP levied another $148,000 penalty against Sunoco over alleged violations in several counties in eastern Pennsylvania.

In July 2017, a complaint by environmental groups against the company and the DEP prompted the state Environmental Hearing Board to halt horizontal directional drilling work for Mariner East 2. The parties settled early the following month in a deal that involved Sunoco agreeing to modify some of its drilling plans.

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