Towns Compete in PA DEP Hunger Games to Grab $12.6M of ME2 Cash

Que the music with dramatic drums, cymbals and trumpets. Camera A, zoom in on Secretary McDonnell. The whole state is watching. It’s time for the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) Hunger Games to begin! In February Sunoco Logistics Partners 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). Sunoco’s ME2 construction activities 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 will be used to “fix” those problems, right? Wrong. Sunoco had to pay twice–pay to clean up the problems AND pay the fine. The fine was essentially a shakedown, Sunoco had to pay it or they would not be allowed to resume construction work on ME2. In April the DEP announced a new program to distribute the $12.6 million of fine money (see PA DEP Hunger Games Competition to Distribute $12.6M in ME2 Money). In Hunger Games tradition, the DEP is conducting a lottery for the 85 municipalities along ME2’s path, allowing those “districts” to submit begging proposals to request some of the money for programs in their district. The contestants have 45 days, from May 7 to June 20, to make a grab for the cash (i.e. submit a grant application). Here’s how one town in Lebanon County is preparing what they hope is a winning entry–their chance to grab some of ME2’s money…

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