Mariner East 2 Pipe Begins Construction Thru Apartment Complex

Sunoco Pipeline is beginning construction work this week on some of the final bits of the Mariner East 2 pipeline project in Delaware County. One of the projects is to install the pipeline through the Glen Riddle Station Apartment complex. The owner and tenants are not happy. They should have known this day would come.
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Sierra Club Hosts 90-Min Online Mariner East Pipeline Kvetch

Monday night the radical Sierra Club hosted a virtual town hall in which people could complain about the Mariner East 2 (ME2) pipeline project. And complain they did. The aim of the virtual complaint session is to try and close down the already up-and-running ME pipelines (plural), and most particularly prevent the final bit of ME2X from getting completed. By airing sob stories, the Clubbers are hoping to bully the state Dept. of Environmental Protection and/or the Governor into blocking further work on the project–a project just a few months from being done.
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Next Phase of Mariner East System Starting Up This Year

Energy Transfer (ET), builder of the Rover pipeline project and the Mariner East pipelines here in the M-U region (as well as many other projects across the country), issued its third-quarter update yesterday. The company lost $782 million in 3Q20 versus making a profit of $857 million in 3Q19. Some (most) of the loss was a paper loss. As part of the update, we learned that the “next phase” of the Mariner East project will be placed into service by the end of this year.
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PA DEP Trash Talks ET/Sunoco re Mariner East 2 Problems

The bad blood between Energy Transfer (ET) and the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) continues. ET’s Sunoco Pipeline subsidiary is desperately trying to complete the Mariner East 2X pipeline from eastern Ohio through to Marcus Hook near Philadelphia. A recent drilling mud spill in Marsh Creek State Park prompted the DEP to demand Sunoco change the route for ME2X (which was less than 60 days from being done) to a new route around the State Park (see PA DEP Orders Sunoco to Reroute ME2X Pipeline Around State Park).
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PA DEP Hassles Mariner East Pipe for Tiny Snitz Creek Mud Spill

Once again the Mariner East 2 pipeline project is up Snitz Creek…without a paddle? There have been a number of “inadvertent returns” or mud spills in Snitz Creek, place where drilling mud is used to grease a drill bit for drilling holes under the creek. Mud has popped up where it’s not supposed to. Some of the mud spills have been, literally, just a couple of gallons. NOTHING. A recent spill on Oct. 19 was for 200 gallons.
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PA DEP Approves Mariner East 2 Pipe Changes in 3 SEPA Locations

Yesterday the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued modified permits for the Mariner East 2 pipeline project in three southeast PA locations (Delaware and Chester counties). Each location has faced problems with underground horizontal directional drilling (HDD). The modifications allow a different type of installation method to be used–open trench.
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PA Fines Sunoco $355,636 for Old Mariner East 2 Pipe Violations

Credit: Scott Blanchard / StateImpact Pennsylvania (click for larger version)

In early 2018 Sunoco Logistics Partners (aka Energy Transfer) 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). It wasn’t the only fine the ME projects have incurred. Last Thursday Sunoco agreed to pay *another* $355,636 for a series of “inadvertent returns” (i.e. drilling mud spills) that happened more than a year ago, between August 2018 and April 2019.
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Mariner East 2X Construction Causes Another Drilling Mud Spill

Underground horizontal directional drilling (HDD) for the Mariner East 2 pipelines (two of them, 2 and 2X) have a history of springing leaks. They’re called “inadvertent returns”–when you drill horizontally underground for a pipeline and the drilling mud you put down the hole pops up in a place it’s not supposed to. The good news is that the drilling mud is non-toxic, the same stuff used in toothpaste. The bad news is that it can overwhelm little fishies and other aquatic life and kill (suffocate) them. ME2X drilling had another such incident earlier this week–in Chester County, PA.
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Energy Transfer Says Mariner East 2X Online by End of 2020

It’s been a loooong road getting the Mariner East 2 (ME2) pipeline system, which includes building two pipelines side-by-side from eastern Ohio across Pennsylvania to the Philadelphia area, done. From what we can tell, ME2 is now done–with the possible exception of a few miles where smaller pipeline is being used until a bigger replacement is done. For all intents, ME2 is done. However, ME2X, a second pipeline being built next to the first, is not yet done. But it’s getting close! According to comments from Energy Transfer (ET) made during a quarterly conference call yesterday, ME2X will be in service by the end of this year, and the entire project will be done-done sometime in 2Q21. Finally!
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Mariner East 2 Starts Up 13 Miles of Pipe in Southeast PA

The mighty Mariner East 2X (ME2X) pipeline project gets closer and closer to 100% completion, despite the efforts of anti-fossil fuelers to hassle and block the project. In a bit of news ignored by mainstream media, another 13-mile stretch of ME2X in southeastern PA between Chester and Delaware counties went online late last week.
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Mariner East Pipe, Shell Cracker Can Restart Construction May 1

Great news! The Mariner East 2 pipeline project along with Shell’s mighty ethane cracker project will once again be able to restart their stopped construction. At least according to our reading of the law. As you may know the Pennsylvania Dept. of Community and Economic Development (DCED) has been “reviewing” waiver requests to allow all work to resume for both ME2 and the cracker project (see PA DCED First Grants Then Rescinds ME2 Pipe Construction Waivers and Shell Files for Waiver to Restart PA Cracker Work w/Fewer Workers).
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Some Mariner East 2 Construction Resumes During Lockdown

The confusion over whether or not the Mariner East 2 (ME2) pipeline project has (a) shut down all construction, except certain tidying up aspects at certain locations, or (b) has permission by the state to keep on building, is still not 100% settled. On Monday we told you that ME2 construction was in the process of ceasing under orders issued by Gov. Wolf (see Mariner East 2 Pipeline Construction Shuts Down re COVID-19). However, the PA Dept. of Community and Economic Development granted a waiver to ME2 for certain activities.

3/27/20 UPDATE: As we suspected and have now confirmed with an unnamed (but highly reliable) source, the ME2 sites issued waivers to continue construction on Wednesday, March 25th were areas deemed necessary to continue work in order to protect the environment or the public. While there are numerous “sites” where activity has resumed, it represents less than 20% of total project sites. For example, places where there were open cut ditches or partially complete HDDs (underground horizontal directional drilling), the company requested and was approved waivers to restart construction–after an extensive review by the Wolf Administration.
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Mariner East 2 Pipeline Construction Shuts Down re COVID-19

As we told you last Friday, there was some confusion over whether or not construction of the Mariner East 2 (ME2) pipeline, which is nearing completion, is included under Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s “stop work” order to prevent PA residents and workers from further spreading the COVID-19 coronavirus (see Is ME2 Pipe Construction Stopped Following Wolf COVID-19 Order?). Pipeline infrastructure and utilities are on the “life-sustaining” list, both in PA and as a directive from the federal government. However, “Utility Subsection Construction” was on the non-life-sustaining list–due to be temporarily shut down. ME2 construction continued after Wolf’s Thursday order. The confusion has now cleared, and yes, ME2 construction is in the process of ceasing.
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PA PUC Fines Mariner East 1 $200K, Orders “Remaining Life” Study

In April 2017 (almost three years ago) the Mariner East 1 pipeline sprung a small leak and spilled 20 barrels (~840 gallons) of ethane and propane in Berks County, near Philadelphia. Sunoco Logistics Partners, builder and maintainer of the pipeline, shut it down and fixed it over the next several days. Yesterday the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission announced a “settlement” with Sunoco, to fine the company $200,000. Sunoco, as part of the settlement, must also conduct a “remaining life” study of the pipeline. After all, it is almost 90 years old.
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ET Update: Mariner East Loses Some NGLs to Mid-Con, Northern NY

Energy Transfer, a huge pipeline company that builds and maintains Marcellus/Utica pipelines including Rover and the Mariner projects, released its fourth-quarter and full-year 2019 update earlier this week. The company reports making the most profit it has ever made in its 25-year history–$3.6 billion in profit for 2019 (more than triple the $1.1 billion made in 2018). Although ET’s financial performance is impressive, it was comments made during the quarterly conference call with analysts about the Mariner East pipeline project that caught our attention.
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Time to Finish Mariner East 2 Pipeline Says SEPA Former Senator

In January the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) finally, after more than a year, agreed to lift a moratorium on new construction work for several Energy Transfer pipeline projects in the state, including the Mariner East 2 and 2X projects (see PA DEP Clears Way for ET to Complete Mariner East Pipelines). A few weeks later the DEP assessed a $1.95 million fine on the Mariner East 2 project (see PA DEP Slaps Energy Transfer Again – $2M Fine re Mariner East 2). Fine paid, permission granted…At least ET can restart work on ME2 now, right? Wrong.
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