Breaking: Drilling Halt on Mariner East II Pipeline Upheld by PA Public Utilities Commission

Breaking news today out of the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission, as reported on the website for the West Goshen Township:

At their October 26, 2017 public meeting the PUC AFFIRMED Judge Barnes’ July 24, 2017 Decision and Order by a vote of 4-0.  The PUC affirmation of Judge Barnes’ Decision and Order continues the halt of any installation of pipeline valves at the Boot Road site and prohibits the start of Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) in West Goshen Township until the PUC hears the Township’s Sunoco Mariner II case in April, 2018. Decision and Order issued today following the PUC public meeting today:
PUC Decision and Order 10-26-2017

This news brings at least temporary relief to residents who have already experienced water contamination due to construction along the highly contentious Mariner East II Pipeline route. The $2.5 billion natural gas liquids pipeline project is being built by Sunoco, now merged with Energy Transfer Partners. The pipeline has already caused dozens of documented cases of water contamination. StateImpact reports:

The ruling is a response to a complaint filed by the township with the PUC in February, alleging that Sunoco violated the agreement, misled the township on where it planned to build a valve station, and exposed residents to “clear and present danger” if there was a leak, the township said then.

This is bad news for Sunoco and ETP, who had planned to complete construction and begin operating the pipeline by Q3 2017. The promised construction schedule for the project will now most certainly not be met.

 

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