PA Enviro Judge Lets Sunoco Restart ME2 Drilling 16 of 55 Locations

On July 25th, a Pennsylvania state environmental judge issued an order blocking all underground horizontal directional drilling (HDD) work being done across the state to install the Mariner East 2 (ME2) pipeline (see PA Enviro Judge Puts 2-Week Pause on ME2 Pipeline Drilling). The order stopped drilling at some 55 different locations where ME2 must drill underground–say under a stream or roadway. The order was in response to an appeal by radical Big Green groups, including the anti-fossil fuel Clean Air Council (of Philly), THE Delaware Riverkeeper (Maya van Rossum), and Mountain Watershed Association (see Antis’ Fake Outrage at ME2 Construction “Spills,” Demand Stop Work). As we said at the time, although temporary, the two-week pause is troublesome and problematic because Big Green groups have convinced a DEP judge to hear a case that ultimately aims to stop the ME2 project. The somewhat good news is that last Thursday the same judge lifted the HDD drilling ban for 16 of 55 locations. Bear in mind digging trenches for the pipeline (over 90% of the work being done) continues and is not subject to the judge’s order. The odoriferous Clean Air Council (CAC) is the primary group doing the suing. In an interesting development, mainstream news is reporting Sunoco Logistics Partners (building the pipeline) is in “settlement negotiations” with CAC. Settling what, we don’t know. We’re not even sure why the CAC has standing to bring a lawsuit against the project in the first place…

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