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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PBS Up Snitz Creek with False Reporting re ME2 Pipe Problems

We don’t know if PBS StateImpact Pennsylvania “reporters” are just sloppy in their reporting, or if they intentionally lie. Either way, it doesn’t look good for StateImpact. PBS reporter Jon Hurdle’s latest Big Green hit piece, published yesterday on StateImpact, is wholly manufactured out of nothing. He claims there are continuing problems with drilling for the Mariner East 2 pipeline project at Snitz Creek in Lebanon County, PA. There are not.
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PA DEP Orders Sunoco to Reroute ME2X Pipeline Around State Park

Sounding downright nasty and mean, the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Pat McDonnell has ordered Sunoco Logistics Partners (Energy Transfer) to reroute part of the Mariner East 2X pipeline around Marsh Creek Lake State Park, following a spill of nontoxic drilling mud that ended up in Marsh Creek Lake in Chester County. McDonnell uses combative and incendiary words like Sunoco “blatantly disregarded the citizens” of Chester County, has been “careless” and is guilty of “unlawful actions.” In a rather uppity tone, McDonnell says he will “not stand for more of the same” and he is “demanding a proper cleanup” of the site. Sunoco has been working diligently to clean up the spill since it happened.
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Up Snitz Creek – Another Tiny (20-Gallon) ME2 Drilling Mud Spill

Sunoco Logistics Partners (i.e. Energy Transfer) was drilling horizontally underneath Snitz Creek in Lebanon County, PA for its Mariner East 2 Pipeline project when it experienced yet another “inadvertent return”–nontoxic drilling mud leaking out of a place where it shouldn’t. In 2018 the same thing happened and antis blew a gasket over a “spill” of five gallons (see Another ME2 Mud Spill at Snitz Creek, Another Hysterical Reaction). On Aug. 13 it happened again–this time it’s 20 gallons and antis are once again engaging in fake outrage over this nothingburger.
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PA Enviro Hearing Board Allows ME2 to Restart Work

NOTE: This post has been corrected from a previous version. Sunoco Logistics Partners’ work on underground drilling to install sections of the Mariner East 2X pipeline in Chester County, PA has resumed in one of two locations–Shoen Road. The work there was stopped by the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) after Sunoco Logistics reported hitting (but NOT spilling any mud into) a water aquifer in the area.
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Big Green Demands PA DEP Stop Almost-Done ME2 Pipe Work

On August 24, 31 radicalized Big Green groups from across Pennsylvania sent a letter to the Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Pat McDonnell demanding (they always demand) the DEP immediately and permanently revoke all Mariner East construction permits and prohibit the issuance of any future permits. Yeah, just stop the pipeline, which is about 98% done, from ever getting completed. What else can you say except it’s demented? Nobody in their right mind would reasonably request or expect the DEP to simply stop the project permanently.
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Sunoco Appeals PA DEP Shut Down of ME2 Construction in Chester

While drilling in Chester County in the Marsh Creek State Park two weeks ago, Energy Transfer’s Mariner East 2X pipeline experienced an “inadvertent return”–nontoxic drilling mud coming up out of the ground where it’s not supposed to (see Mariner East 2X Construction Causes Another Drilling Mud Spill). In this case, the mud came up in a small section of the 535-acre Marsh Creek Lake. A few days later the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) indefinitely suspended all drilling in that area (see PA DEP Suspends ME2 Pipe Drilling at Marsh Creek State Park). Energy Transfer is appealing the DEP’s suspension saying if they can’t restart soon, the hole already drilled will fill in and ultimately lead to even more environmental impacts than a little spilled mud.
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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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Putting Recent ME2 Marsh Creek Lake Mud Spill in Perspective

Two weeks ago while drilling in Chester County in Marsh Creek State Park, Energy Transfer’s Mariner East (ME) 2X pipeline experienced an “inadvertent return”–nontoxic drilling mud coming up out of the ground where it’s not supposed to (see Mariner East 2X Construction Causes Another Drilling Mud Spill). In this case the mud came up in a small section of the 535-acre Marsh Creek Lake. Hostile Democrat politicians in Chester County immediately jumped on the leak (which didn’t kill a single fish) to demand the state Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) revoke the pipeline’s permits to build in the county–forever. A former politician from Chester County offers a different view of this latest episode and the partisan calls to stop ME2.
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Chester DA Persecution of Off-Duty Constables Guarding ME2 Pipe

Why is the Chester County, PA District Attorney hell-bent on persecuting (i.e. prosecuting) security guards who have done nothing more than protect nutty environmentalists from hurting themselves at Mariner East 2 pipeline construction sites? Former Chester County, PA District Attorney Tom Hogan (RINO), and his successor Deb Ryan (Democrat) were 100% humiliated after a Chester County Magisterial District Judge in June 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” (see Chester DA Charges Against ME Pipe Security Chief Tossed by Judge). Yet the DA’s office is back harassing/charging the owner and an employee of a private security firm for the same thing.
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Upper Uwchlan Twp Begs Gov. Wolf to Pull ME2 Pipe Permits

Last week Energy Transfer’s Mariner East 2X pipeline experienced an “inadvertent return”–nontoxic drilling mud coming up out of the ground where it’s not supposed to–in Chester County, PA (see Mariner East 2X Construction Causes Another Drilling Mud Spill). The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) immediately suspended all drilling at the site until further notice (see PA DEP Suspends ME2 Pipe Drilling at Marsh Creek State Park). The Upper Uwchlan Township Board of Supervisors sent a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf last week requesting he simply pull all of the remaining permits for the ME2 project, effectively shutting it down and preventing it from finishing–even though it’s nearly done.
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PA DEP Suspends ME2 Pipe Drilling at Marsh Creek State Park

While drilling in Chester County earlier this week in the Marsh Creek State Park, Energy Transfer’s Mariner East 2X pipeline experienced an “inadvertent return”–nontoxic drilling mud coming up out of the ground where it’s not supposed to (see Mariner East 2X Construction Causes Another Drilling Mud Spill). In this case the mud came up in a small section of the 535-acre Marsh Creek Lake. Under withering criticism and pressure from anti-fossil fuel groups, the state Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued a press release yesterday to say that all pipeline drilling at the site has been “suspended indefinitely.”
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Antis Protest Dangerous ME2 Drilling Mud Spill by Kayaking in It

Protesters kayak through a “dangerous” cleanup site on Marsh Creek Lake in Chester County, PA (Credit: WHYY, click for larger version)

Yesterday MDN told you about a new “inadvertent return” or drilling mud spill that occurred at Marsh Creek Lake in Chester County, PA, near Philadelphia (see Mariner East 2X Construction Causes Another Drilling Mud Spill). The reaction by the climate crazies, as predicted, was shrill and loud. Those who oppose the Mariner East 2 pipeline oppose it because it flows natural gas and they irrationally hate natural gas. Antis staged a “protest” of the “dangerous” mud spill at Marsh Creek Lake yesterday. After mouthing off for the cameras, the crazies launched dozens of kayaks and paddled through the drilling mud water that’s supposedly dangerous for the environment. Go figure.
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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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PA PUC Investigating New ME2 Pipeline Sinkholes in Chester County

Energy Transfer’s subsidiary Sunoco Logistics is trying to finish up final construction of the Mariner East 2X pipeline in southeast Pennsylvania. ME2 and ME2X flow natural gas liquids including ethane and propane from eastern Ohio and western PA all the way to the Marcus Hook refinery near Philadelphia. As the pipe travels through Philly neighborhoods, some of the geography is limestone (porous) and when drilling to install pipes, it has led to sinkholes. Another seven such sinkholes have appeared since June and the state Public Utility Commission (PUC) is investigating.
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