ME2 Pipeline’s $12.6M Shakedown Money Won’t Pay for Cleanup

Last week MDN brought you the news that Sunoco Logistics Partners had agreed to pay a massive (historically high) $12.6 million fine to the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) for “permit violations related to the construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline project” (see Sunoco LP Pays PA DEP $12.6M to Resume ME2 Pipeline Construction). Supposedly Sunoco’s ME2 construction activities have caused a few erosion issues here and some drilling mud leaks there–so-called “harms” to the environment. Surely some of the massive, historically high $12.6 million fine Sunoco is paying will be used to “fix” those problems, right? Wrong. Every single penny is going to other pockets (black holes) within the DEP, proving our contention that this was nothing more than a shakedown by a government agency. Essentially Sunoco had to pay DEP mobsters a “bribe” in order to restart work on the ME2 project. The DEP had Sunoco by the short hairs, blocking any new work until the money was paid. So what about “cleaning up” the problems created by ME2 construction? “[I]t’s highly likely that Sunoco will be required to clean up the damage caused by its botched construction, in addition to paying the penalty,” according to a former DEP Secretary. If that doesn’t beat all. Fine them AND make them pay even more for the cleanup. Welcome to doing business in Pennsylvania…

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