On Wednesday, March 7, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission ordered an emergency shutdown Sunoco/Energy Transfer Partners’ Mariner East 1 Pipeline. The order came after massive sinkholes were discovered along the pipeline route in Chester County, as a result of drilling during construction of the larger Mariner East 2 Pipeline. PUC officials noted in the order that a rupture in the pipeline as a result of the sinkholes “could have catastrophic results impacting the public.”
The emergency order comes only weeks after Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and the PA Department of Environmental Protection allowed Sunoco to resume construction of Mariner East 2. ME2 construction had previously been halted on January 3rd due to Sunoco’s repeated spills and violations. In numerous cases residents’ drinking water has been contaminated from horizontal directional drilling during pipeline construction.
Full coverage of yesterday’s emergency order: