PA DEP Slaps Energy Transfer Again – $2M Fine re Mariner East 2

Two weeks ago the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced the largest fine for a single company/project in its history. DEP slapped Energy Transfer (ET) with a $30.6 million fine for the construction and subsequent explosion of the company’s Revolution gathering pipeline in western PA (see ET Allowed to Fix/Restart Revolution Pipe…After Record $30M Fine). As part of the fine, DEP said ET could restart construction to fix Revolution. DEP also said ET could restart construction for another project: Mariner East 2 (ME2). Yesterday the other shoe dropped when DEP announced a new fine related to ME2 work–for $1.95 million.
Continue reading

Mariner East Pipe Flips PA from Propane Shortage to Surplus

Credit: Energy Transfer

The 2014 Polar Vortex event, when most of the U.S. was plunged into record low temps for an extended period, created a propane shortage for many. One of the states most affected by lack of propane during that event was…Pennsylvania! Should such an event hit again, PA is now in the clear, thanks to the Mariner East pipelines.
Continue reading

3rd Lawsuit Filed Against Energy Transfer re Mariner Corruption

MDN previously told you about unconfirmed rumors that the FBI is investigating the PA Gov. Tom Wolf administration over how permits came to be issued for the Mariner East 2 pipeline project (see FBI Investigates Wolf Admin for Corruption re ME Pipe Permits). The allegation/rumor is that Wolf and/or members of his staff pressured the Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) to approve permits for the pipeline project in return for something (money or something else). Two different law firms seized on the rumor as reason enough to launch speculative class action lawsuits for shareholders, accusing Energy Transfer (the builder) of corruption (see 2nd Class Action Lawsuit Against ET/Sunoco re Mariner East Pipe). A third such lawsuit was filed last week–this one by a public employee retirement fund.
Continue reading

Talen Energy Sells PA Pipeline to Adelphia Gateway for $155M

In December the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a final approval for the Adelphia Gateway pipeline project (see FERC Issues Final OK for Southeast PA Adelphia Gateway Pipeline). Adelphia is a plan to convert an old/existing oil pipeline stretching from Northampton County, PA through Bucks, Montgomery, and Chester counties, terminating in Delaware County at Marcus Hook, into a natural gas pipeline. To flow Marcellus gas to southeast PA. The builder lacked one key ingredient–the pipeline!
Continue reading

Corning Gas Buys Out JV Partner in PA Leatherstocking Gas & Pipe

Corning Natural Gas (based in Corning, NY) has a 50% joint venture partnership in Leatherstocking Gas Company and Leatherstocking Pipeline Company with another Upstate NY-based company, Mirabito. Leatherstocking runs gas mains to residents and businesses in small, mainly rural communities–like Montrose, PA (see PA Rural Residents Burn Marcellus Gas, Save Big Bucks on Heating). Corning announced yesterday they are buying out Mirabito’s 50% interest on the PA side of the border.
Continue reading

Trump Seeks to Speed Up Pipeline Projects by Tweaking NEPA Law

regulations

Yesterday President Trump announced a list of proposed changes to the 50-year-old National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in an effort to strip away some of the governmental red tape that’s built up over the years like plaque in an artery, preventing important infrastructure projects like pipelines, dams, bridges and roads from getting built. Over the past 20 years or so the left has become adept in their use of NEPA to block new projects, claiming environmental harms. Trump wants to reverse that trend. And that drives extremist greens berserk.
Continue reading

4th Circus Clown Judges Nix Va. Compressor Permit for AC Pipe

The Lorax Judge strikes again. One year ago the Virginia State Air Quality Board, at the prompting of Gov. Ralph Northam, voted to approve a low-emissions compressor station for Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), to be built about an hour outside of Richmond, Virginia (see Va. State Agency Approves Atlantic Coast Pipe Compressor Stn). Big Green groups with deep pockets litigated that decision, making the disgusting claim that the compressor station is “racist” because it will be built in a community founded by emancipated slaves following the Civil War.
Continue reading

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

Big Green Groups Ask FERC to Deny PennEast Pipe More Time

The companies behind PennEast Pipeline, a $1.2 billion new greenfield pipeline project from Luzerne County, PA to Mercer County, NJ, have not given up on the long-delayed project. As we told you in November, PennEast plans to file an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court (on Feb. 3) to overcome a lower court ruling that prevents PennEast from using eminent domain in New Jersey for some of the route (see PennEast Pipe to Appeal Bungled Fed Court Decision to US Supremes). Since the original Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) certificate authorizing construction of the project expires on Jan. 19, 2020, PennEast asked FERC to extend it another two years (see PennEast Pipe Still Hopeful, Asks FERC for 2-Year Extension). Three Big Green groups have filed an objection, asking FERC to kill the project now.
Continue reading

Virginia Landowners Sue to Emasculate FERC in Bid to Block MVP

In a lawsuit filed last week, three couples who own land along the route of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) in Virginia, who don’t want the pipeline crossing their land, are trying to overturn federal approval of MVP by emasculating the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. This is not the first time someone has tried to emasculate FERC using MVP.
Continue reading

PA DEP Proposes New Horizontal Pipeline Drilling Regulations

regulations

On Jan. 15 the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environment Protection’s (DEP) Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board will meet to hear a presentation on a draft Horizontal Drilling Pipeline Construction Guidance and stakeholder report. The so-called guidance is the first step in adopting new regulations (i.e. laws) to govern underground horizontal directional drilling (HDD) for pipeline projects.
Continue reading

ET Allowed to Fix/Restart Revolution Pipe…After Record $30M Fine

click for larger version

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) has just issued the largest single fine to any single company in its history–$30.6 million assessed on Energy Transfer for the explosion of the Revolution Pipeline–a gathering pipeline located in southwestern PA. The fine, along with new plans and assurances by ET, means the company can finally, some 17 months after the explosion, fix the damaged pipeline and return it to service.
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

County Says Proposed Columbia Gas Central OH Pipe Not Long Enough

Proposed Marysville Connector in Union County (click for larger version)

Columbia Gas of Ohio (NiSource) recently announced a new $135 million pipeline project to bring new supplies of Utica-sourced natural gas to homes and businesses located north and west of Columbus, in central Ohio (see Columbia Gas Plans New NatGas Pipeline in Central Ohio). The project, called the Northern Loop Project, includes a 4.78-mile pipeline segment in Union County, called the Marysville Connector. County officials oppose the plan–because (they say), it’s not long enough!
Continue reading