Another Construction Suspension For Sunoco’s Mariner East Pipeline

Pipeline Construction
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CHESTER COUNTY (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – Sunoco’s Mariner Eat pipeline hit another snag Thursday as the flow of natural gas liquids was suspended in the Mariner East 1 along with the construction of the Mariner East 2 pipelines pending studies.

Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission Judge Elizabeth Barnes cited sinkholes, water contamination and rushed managerial decisions that seemed to prioritize profits over best practices in her decision.

Pennsylvania Senator Andy Dinnimin has been a critic of the problematic project and filed the petition that brought about the most recent suspension. He told the KDKA Radio Afternoon News he is not opposed to the pipeline itself, but of Sunoco’s practices during its construction.

“I want it to be completed correctly,” Sen. Dinniman said. “There is no reason why we can’t have the economic development and benefits of the pipeline and at the same time preserve the safety of the residents who live adjacent to the pipeline.”

Sen. Dinniman lives in West Whiteland Township, where the construction has been halted.

“A number of wells are bone dry as a result of pipeline construction. Huge sinkholes have developed,” Sen. Dinniman said.

Sen. Dinniman says several families have been forced from their homes due to dry wells.

Other states have regulations for pipeline construction in highly populated areas and certain geophysical formations, but Pennsylvania does not. The senator filed for emergency action over the impact on the land and the people living on it.

“I felt they were not taking into consideration the geology of the area or the high impact of the area.”  

The Mariner East 1, 2 and 2X pipelines are intended to carry natural gas liquids across the commonwealth to Philadelphia-area refineries. The state PUC and DEP have both suspended operations during the course of the construction.

Sunoco maintains its construction practices are safe and plans to file an appeal.