Major Milestone: PA PUC Rules Mariner East IS a Public Utility

Sunoco Logistics is not home free yet–but almost. As MDN readers will know, for some time anti-drillers have attempted to prevent Sunoco Logistics from repurposing their 400+ mile Mariner East pipeline that stretches from western PA to Philadelphia to begin flowing natural gas liquids–ethane and propane. The legal tussle has been over whether or not the pipeline is a “public utility” with the right of eminent domain and the right to be exempt from local zoning ordinances. Bear in mind the Mariner East pipeline has been in the ground for decades, always considered a public utility in years gone by. Local municipalities are now seeking to stop a string of 18 pump and 17 value stations (in 31 locations) that will be needed along the pipeline’s route in order to flow the ethane and propane. So the municipalities launched a legal fight to remove Mariner East’s classification as a public utility. Yesterday the Commissioners of the PA Public Utility Commission put that issue to rest once and for all…

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