Judge Hears Eminent Domain Case Against Mariner East 2

Five Washington County, PA property owners had their day in court yesterday with their case against Sunoco Logistics Partners and the Mariner East 2 pipeline project. The attorney for the plaintiffs argued that Mariner East 2 is an interstate pipeline (begins in Ohio, crosses the northern panhandle of West Virginia and then crosses Pennsylvania from west to east) and therefore it does not fit the definition of a public utility under PA law. Public utilities in PA have the right to use eminent domain, which is what this case appears to be about–denying Sunoco the right to use eminent domain in cases where it cannot come to an agreement with the landowner. But as you’ll see below, we don’t think that’s what this case is REALLY about. Sunoco argued that the pipeline is both an interstate and intrastate pipeline with “numerous public benefits.” He hastened to add one of those benefits is a $1.9 billion investment that will result in a $4.2 billion economic impact on the state…

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