PA Landowner Awarded Piddly for Legal Fees in Fighting ME Pipe

Huntington County, PA landowners Stephen and Ellen Gerhart have opposed the Mariner East pipeline project across their land from day one. They (and their daughter) have a long history of activism against the project. The Gerharts sued the builder, Sunoco Logistics Partners, in a bid to first block the pipeline, and later “restore” their property after it was built. In the end the Gerharts won a single, tiny concession–forcing Sunoco to recreate a swamp (i.e. “wetland”) on their property–all of 0.066 acres (meaning less than 1/10th of an acre–about the size of a big mud puddle). The Gerharts legal bills over the past several years have added up to $266,000. The attorneys asked the PA Environmental Hearing Board, a special court that hears appeals of DEP decisions, to make Sunoco and the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) pay the bill. How much did they get?
Continue reading

PA DEP Clears Way for ET to Complete Mariner East Pipelines

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) recent settlement with Energy Transfer (ET) concerning the Revolution Pipeline explosion in southwestern PA also has significant impact on southeastern PA. How? The signed consent order in which ET pays the state $30.6 million lifts a moratorium on granting new permits to ET for *any* of its pipeline projects in PA for the past one year–including permits to complete the Mariner East (ME) projects. With the consent order comes a lifting of that permit moratorium, meaning the final bits of ME can now be completed.
Continue reading

PA Judge Fines Mariner East Pipe $1K for Scaring Homeowner

Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission Law Judge Elizabeth Barnes has tried to stop or block or otherwise do damage to the Mariner East pipeline projects for years. Most (all?) of her actions against the project have, in the past, been reversed by a vote of PUC Commissioners (see PA PUC Overrules Lib Judge – Mariner East 1 Returns to Service and PA PUC Allows ME2 Pipeline Work to Restart Near Philly). Will PUC members also overturn Barnes’ latest overreach in fining the Mariner East 1 pipeline $1,000, to be given to a nearby homeowner who doesn’t feel “safe” living 1,000 feet from a pipeline that’s been there all of his life?
Continue reading

SEPA DA Charges Off-Duty Police w/Crime for Providing Pipe Security

Tom Hogan, Chester County’s “buy a DA”

In what has to be the outrage of the century, Chester County, PA District Attorney Tom Hogan, drunk on his own power, has falsely charged both Energy Transfer (Sunoco Logistics Partners) and several PA constables (essentially off duty police officers) with bribery and conspiracy because the off-duty officers had the gall to moonlight as security to protect Mariner East pipeline workers from anti-fossil fuel crazies and wackos.
Continue reading

2nd Class Action Lawsuit Against ET/Sunoco re Mariner East Pipe

Last week MDN told you about a law firm fishing for Energy Transfer shareholders to join its class action lawsuit against the company over rumors of corruption in obtaining permits to build the Mariner East 2 pipeline project (see Shareholder Lawsuit Filed Against ET/Sunoco re Mariner East Pipe). A second law firm is now trying the same tactic–a second shareholder lawsuit based on unproven rumors.
Continue reading

Time to Defend the Mariner East Pipe Projects – Garland Thompson

Speaking of the Mariner East (ME) pipelines and the NGLs (primarily ethane, but also propane and butane) they flow, why isn’t the organized business community (i.e. Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce) doing more to stick up for the ME pipeline projects? MDN friend Garland Thompson, a gifted reporter/writer who covers energy and technology issues for US Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine, recently penned an open letter to the Philly Chamber challenging them to get off their collective butts and defend ME and the jobs it will create in the greater Philly region.
Continue reading

FBI Investigates Wolf Admin for Corruption re ME Pipe Permits

(Sacrificial) lamb roasting on a spit

Earlier this week the Associated Press, which sometimes can and sometimes can’t be trusted, broke an exclusive bombshell story in which they claim “sources” have told them the FBI has launched an investigation into the Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf administration over how permits came to be issued for the Mariner East 2 pipeline project. The focus of the investigation is on whether Wolf and his administration “forced environmental protection staff to approve construction permits” and whether Wolf or his administration received anything in return for those permits. Favors. Corruption. Kickbacks. That’s what’s being implied by the leakers who, of course, spoke only on condition of anonymity.
Continue reading

Another Small Mariner East Pipe Sinkhole Develops Near Philly

Sinkhole develops near soccer field (Credit: Del-Chesco United for Pipeline Safety)

Another sinkhole developed last Friday near Philadelphia related to underground drilling done to install the Mariner East 2 pipeline. The new sinkhole developed in Middletown Township (Delaware County), in Sleighton Park. Fortunately this latest hole was only about 18 inches in diameter, which is much better than a 15×15 foot hole that developed in September, also in Middletown Township (see Another Mariner East 2 Pipe Sinkhole Opens in Delaware County). However, the 18-inch hole fanned out to four feet wide and 30 feet deep underground. Sunoco immediately filled it with “flowable fill” (i.e. concrete)–to the tune of 48 yards of material.
Continue reading

Philly Pipe Protesters Go to Harrisburg, Picket Gov’s Empty Office

Credit: WITF Harrisburg (click for larger version)

A small group of southeast Pennsylvania pipeline protesters drove themselves to Harrisburg on Wednesday (using fossil fuels to get there) to demand Gov. Tom Wolf put a halt to construction of the legally-permitted Mariner East 2 pipeline, and essentially shut down the operation of the entire Mariner East network (ME1, ME2 and ME2X). Gov. Wolf wasn’t even in his office, so they were picketing and protesting for nothing. Oh well, the wackos get an “A” for effort, right?
Continue reading

PA DEP Still Blocking Some Permits to Restart ME2 Pipe Work

Sunoco Logistics Partners, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer, is still on the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environment Protection’s (DEP) naughty list. In February, PA Gov. Tom Wolf ordered the DEP to suspend all reviews of clean water permit applications and other pending approvals for ALL of ET/Sunoco’s pipeline projects in the state–including the Mariner East and Revolution pipeline projects. The ban on approving reviews has not yet been lifted and means that in 33 locations across the state (most of them in the Philadelphia area) Sunoco can’t complete underground horizontal direction drilling (HDD) work for its Mariner East pipeline projects.
Continue reading

Chester County DA Fails to Find ME Pipe Crimes, Files Civil Case

Chester County, PA District Attorney Thomas P. Hogan famously announced to the world last December he would investigate Sunoco Logisitcs and their Mariner East (ME) pipeline projects for “crimes” (see Chester County DA Goes Rogue, Targets ME2 Pipe w/Criminal Probe). After months of investigation, using added fire power (see Chester County DA Gets “Free” Help with ME2 Pipe Criminal Probe), Hogan has come up with…NOTHING. He’s a loser. So to save face, the rogue DA and the guy who is trying to succeed him next (Michael Noone, also a loser) have filed a civil (non-criminal) case against ME for…wait for it…being a “public nuisance.” That’s what happens when a neighbor calls to complain someone is playing music too loud and won’t turn it down. Tell us again Tom & Mike, how “dangerous” that ME project really is.
Continue reading

East Goshen Denies Sunoco Request to Work on ME2 Pipe 24/7

The town of East Goshen, in Chester County, PA (near Philadelphia) has a noise ordinance in place from 10 pm to 7 am. Sunoco Logisitics, working on installing a section of the Mariner East 2 pipeline through the township, requested an exemption to allow them to work all night long. Their argument is that once you start pulling pipe through the hole you’ve just drilled, you can’t just stop. Last week the town supervisors voted against granting the exception. Shhh, quiet after 10.
Continue reading

Another Mariner East 2 Pipe Sinkhole Opens in Delaware County

Credit: PA Environment Digest Blog (click for larger version)

Once again drilling work to install Sunoco’s Mariner East 2 Pipeline in Middlefield Township in Delaware County, PA (near Philadelphia) has resulted in a sinkhole. This one is about the size of a 15×15 swimming pool. Sunoco reports the hole exposed a 12-inch pipeline flowing NGLs (no holes, no leaks in the pipeline). The company immediately filled in the sinkhole and covered over the NGL pipeline.
Continue reading

Work at Sunoco’s Marcus Hook Causes Range to Tweak NGL Forecast

Sunoco is performing “optimization work” at the Marcus Hook export terminal this month. Marcus Hook is where two (soon to be three) Mariner East Pipelines terminate, hauling NGLs (propane, ethane, butane) from western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio all the way to the Philadelphia area. At Marcus Hook the NGLs get separated and most (not all, but most) get loaded onto ships for export to other countries. Sunoco needs to upgrade a few things to export even more. They’re shutting down Marcus Hook this month, and that’s a (temporary) problem for the main shipper sending NGLs to the facility–Range Resources.
Continue reading

Philly Dem Senator Loses Bid to Shut Down ME Pipelines

PA State Senator Andy Dinniman

In April 2018, a Chester County, PA (Philadelphia area) Democrat State Senator by the name of Andy Dinniman (who we think looks like Tony Soprano) filed a formal, legal complaint with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), asking the PUC to shut down and keep closed all of the Mariner East pipeline projects–ME1, ME2, and ME2X (see Philly Dem Senator Tries to Shut Down ME2 Pipe Construction). It took long enough, but the PA Commonwealth Court, whom Sunoco appealed to, ruled yesterday that Dinniman’s complaint is meritless. The court ordered the PUC to dismiss Dinniman’s complaint.
Continue reading

PA DEP Changes Sides, Says Marcus Hook Should Get 1 Big Air Permit

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP), which once supported (in court) Sunoco Logistics Partners method of requesting permits for the Marcus Hook facility (near Philadelphia), has just flip flopped and change sides, now siding against Sunoco and the permits the DEP itself issued for the Marcus Hook facility. DEP is now siding with the radical Clean Air Council demanding that all of the work at the Marcus Hook facility be done under a single emissions permit, not separate permits.
Continue reading