Chester DA Charges Against ME Pipe Security Chief Tossed by Judge

Former Chester County, PA District Attorney Tom Hogan (RINO), and his successor Deb Ryan (Democrat) are 100% humiliated after a Chester County Magisterial District Judge dismissed the entire case against the local head of security for Energy Transfer in what the DA’s office lyingly calls a “buy a badge scheme.” Judge John Bailey dismissed all 54 criminal counts against Frank Recknagel over his hiring of constables as off-duty security guards for the Mariner East pipeline project. The DA’s office tried to criminalize moonlighting for the pipeline.
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ME2 Pipe Inspector Admits Falsifying Welding Records 77 Times

In March a worker hired to x-ray welds on sections of the Mariner East 2 pipeline in southwestern Pennsylvania was charged with falsifying records–that he falsely claimed to have performed work when he didn’t (see ME2 Pipeline Worker Charged with Falsifying Welding Records). Yesterday the worker, via a video hearing, plead guilty to 77 counts of falsifying documents.
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M-U Pipelines Continue Construction Despite Pandemic, Lawsuits

Two of the largest not-yet-completed pipeline projects in the Marcellus/Utica, Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) and Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), are currently on hold with no construction activity due to various legal challenges by Big Green (see today’s story, Mountain Valley Pipe Update: Done and In-Service Early 2021). However, there are several other large and small M-U pipeline projects where construction continues, even with restrictions from the coronavirus pandemic. Which pipelines?
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PA Supremes Rule Against ME1 Pump Station Permit in Lebanon County

In what is a hollow victory for anti-fossil fuel zealots, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied hearing an appeal for a case from Sunoco Logistics Partners about a permit for a pump station in Lebanon County, PA. The Supremes’ rejection means a lower court ruling stands that overturns the permit. Thing is, that pump station was built years ago and has been functioning ever since. There’s no way that pump station is going away. So why did the antis blow all that money in litigation over the years?
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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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Fed Court Strongly Rebukes Riverkeeper for Harassing ME2 Pipe

A federal court in Pennsylvania has just verbally slapped down THE Delaware Riverkeeper–both the umbrella Riverkeeper organization and (by name) the person who claims to be THE riverkeeper of the Delaware, Maya van Rossum, for a transparent and pathetic attempt at blocking the Mariner East 2 pipeline project with yet another frivolous lawsuit. In the decision, the judge says the litigation tactics of the Riverkeeper organization “do nothing to protect the environment.” The judge also said to impose liability against ME2 in this case “would offend basic principles of fairness and effect an absurd result” and “violate due process.” Ouch.
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Antis Complain ME2 Pipe Issued Waivers to Keep Working

Officials from both Delaware County and Chester County (suburbs of Philadelphia) sent a letter to state officials earlier this week asking the state to once again shut down critical work being done on the Mariner East 2 pipeline project. The county officials, at the prompting (control?) of the uber-leftist and radical Clean Air Council, are using the COVID-19 crisis as their excuse to try and shut down work on the project. In their letter, county officials cite unnamed and anecdotal “sources” who claim (lie?) that workers on the pipeline are violating social-distancing rules–at work and off. Ninny nannies tattling. Do you think workers would jeopardize their own health and the health of their families? No, we don’t think so either.
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PA DCED First Grants Then Rescinds ME2 Pipe Construction Waivers

Remember that old Abbott and Costello comedy routine, “Who’s on First?” That aptly describes what appears to be happening at the Pennsylvania Dept. of Community and Economic Development (DCED). PA Gov. Tom Wolf issued an edict several weeks ago that bans businesses from working unless they appear on a list of “life-sustaining” activities, in an effort to halt the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Companies can apply for a waiver if they’re not on the life-sustaining list. The DCED is in charge (if you can call it that) of reviewing and issuing the waivers. Yesterday the DCED issued waivers to Energy Transfer to button up some final bits of work on the Mariner East 2 (ME2) pipeline project in several locations near Philadelphia. A few hours later DCED rescinded/pulled those waivers. What’s going on?
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Apartment Dwellers Near Philly Sue Sunoco for ME2 Pipe “Nuisance”

More than a dozen residents living in the Turnbridge Apartments in Media (Delaware County), PA recently filed a lawsuit against Sunoco Logistics (Energy Transfer) alleging construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline project has created all sorts of problems. The lawsuit says ME2 construction has caused (1) environmental contamination; (2) a major nuisance and inconvenience, especially during 24/7 operations; and (3) intimidation, harassment, fear, and loss of access to outdoor space. This isn’t the first time residents in that area have sued over ME2.
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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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ME2 Pipeline Worker Charged with Falsifying Welding Records

A worker hired to x-ray welds on sections of the Mariner East 2 pipeline in southwestern Pennsylvania has been charged falsifying records, indicating that he performed the work when he didn’t. That’s a felony. According to one news account the worker, from Westmoreland County, PA, is expected to plead guilty and faces up to five years in prison and a fine up to $250,000. The good news is that Energy Transfer, the builder, discovered the deception and immediately reported it. ET reinspected all of the welds supposedly inspected by this worker.
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PA Sen. Dinniman Tries to Use COVID-19 to Block ME2 Work

PA Sen. Andy Dinniman

Rahm Emanuel (Democrat), former Mayor of Chicago and former Chief of Staff in the Bill Clinton White House, once famously quipped, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” That’s a pretty sleazy thing to say and a pretty sleazy way to behave. But there you go. Another Democrat, PA State Sen. Andy “Tony Soprano” Dinniman is adopting Emanuel’s sleazy strategy. Dinniman has been trying for over two years to shut down construction of Energy Transfer’s Mariner East 2 pipeline project (see Philly Dem Senator Tries to Shut Down ME2 Pipe Construction). He’s been completely unsuccessful. Now he’s trying to use the COVID-19 coronavirus scare to get the project stopped.
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Is ME2 Pipe Construction Stopped Following Wolf COVID-19 Order?

Yesterday Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf issued an executive edict that all “Non-Life-Sustaining Businesses” will close as of 8 pm last night. Notwithstanding the sleazy attempt by State Sen. Andy Dinniman to shut down construction of the Mariner East 2 (ME2) pipeline project by using the virus as an excuse (see today’s companion story), there appears to be some confusion as to whether or not ME2 construction is subject to Wolf’s edict to stop construction. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) refuses to tell ME2 to stop building. However, in Wolf’s list of what is “life-sustaining” and what isn’t, all construction, including “Utility Subsection Construction” is in the stop-work category. Is ME2 or isn’t it still actively under construction at this point?
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PA DEP Schedules 3 Hearings on Permit Changes for ME2 Pipe

NOTE: These hearings have been canceled due to coronavirus concerns. Although the public hearings are canceled, individuals are still encouraged to submit comments about the proposed permit modifications and air plan approvals, as comments submitted for the record to DEP carry equal weight to those delivered in-person. Comments must be received by May 8, 2020, at 11:59 PM. Written comments should be mailed to the Waterways and Wetlands Program, 2 E. Main Street, Norristown, PA, 19401. Comments may also be submitted via email at [email protected] with the subject designating which modification request the comment is intended for.

It’s time to come out and support the Mariner East 2 (ME2) pipeline project at a series of three public hearings scheduled by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) in April near Philadelphia. That is if the hearings are actually held. DEP has scheduled one hearing in Delaware County (April 14) and two hearings in Chester County (April 15 & 16) on plans to issue the project state Chapter 102 (Erosion) and Chapter 105 (Water Encroachment) permits for construction in those locations.
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