Big Green Group Makes Big Deal Out of Tiny ME2 Mud Spill

Will anti-fossil fuel Big Green groups succeed in turning a molehill into a mountain? That’s what they are attempting to do with the latest tiny spill (50 gallons) of drilling mud by Sunoco Logistics Partners in underground drilling work for the Mariner East 2 pipeline project in Dauphin County, PA. Over the past several months, Sunoco has experienced some “inadvertent returns” (i.e. leaks) of drilling mud at various locations. One of those was in Chester County, where a serious leak temporarily fouled a water aquifer and clouded drinking water for 15 local households (see Sunoco Stops ME2 Drilling in Chester County Following Water Issue). Sunoco took extraordinary steps to make it right, going so far as to pay to run municipal water to affected homeowners. Earlier this month Sunoco struck a deal with several Big Green groups to provide stricter regulation for ME2’s underground drilling (see Sunoco Strikes Deal with Devil, “Settles” with Anti Groups re ME2). Part of the deal says if Sunoco experiences two leaks of drilling mud at the same location, they must shut down drilling in that location and wait for the state Dept. of Environmental Protection to further review drilling plans before they can restart. On August 24th there was a 50-gallon drilling mud spill into the Susquehanna River in Dauphin County related to ME2. (A quick reminder: drilling mud, or “bentonite,” is non-toxic–the same stuff found in toothpaste and kitty litter). Thing is, there was another spill of 495 gallons at the same location a week earlier. Antis say Sunoco must now shut down drilling in that spot until further notice. Sunoco is saying that particular location was not part of the signed agreement…

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