PA DEP Stops ME2 Drilling in Huntingdon County for < 1 Gal. Spill

Sunoco Logistics Partners has had its share of problems in building the Mariner East 2 (ME2) twin NGL pipelines that run from eastern Ohio all the way to Marcus Hook, near Philadelphia. The main issue with construction of the pipeline has been underground horizontal directional drilling (HDD)–drilling under things like roads and bridges and streams and rivers–places where you can’t just dig a trench to lay pipeline. Some early problems with HDD caused the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) to shut down all ME2 HDD work (indeed all work period) for an extended period in January (see PA DEP Caves to Big Green Pressure, Stops All Work on ME2 Pipeline). After Sunoco agreed to pay the DEP a whopping $12.6 million “fine” (i.e. shakedown money), the DEP allowed work to resume in February (see Sunoco LP Pays PA DEP $12.6M to Resume ME2 Pipeline Construction). While doing ME2 HDD work in Huntingdon County last week, Sunoco contractors reported less than one gallon of non-toxic drilling mud (bentonite) went missing–it came back out of a hole it didn’t go down. And because of that, the DEP has shut down all work at the site…

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