Sunoco LP Pays PA DEP $12.6M to Resume ME2 Pipeline Construction

In what can only be considered a government shakedown, Sunoco Logistics Partners has 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.” The fine, along with a “stringent compliance review” going forward, gives the DEP enough confidence to allow Sunoco to resume construction on the ME2 project, which has been halted since January 3rd (see PA DEP Caves to Big Green Pressure, Stops All Work on ME2 Pipeline). Last Friday Sunoco appealed the DEP’s stop work order to a special court set up to hear appeals of DEP decisions (see Sunoco Appeals DEP’s ME2 Pipe Suspension to Enviro Hearing Board). DEP couldn’t risk having their order overturned–not when there’s a shakedown in progress! With respect to the “deal,” Sunoco said, in so many words, that while they (strongly) disagree with the DEP’s statements in making the deal, Sunoco is willing to pay the fine so they can get back to work and finish the project. A cost of doing business in PA, apparently. Beginning today, thousands of people who had been thrown out of work by the DEP order will resume their jobs. All it took was 12.6 big ones to make it happen…

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