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.
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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.
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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.
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Yet Another Defeat for ME2 Pipeline Antis in PA Court

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The wheels of justice sometimes grind sloooooowly–but they do grind and eventually decisions are made. In 2017, rich, snobbish homeowners in an “upscale” Philadelphia suburb development asked a Pennsylvania appeals court (Commonwealth Court) to stop Sunoco Logistics from building the Mariner East 2 pipeline through the edge of their high-priced development (see Rich Homeowners in Philly Suburb Claim ME2 Work Stirring up Arsenic).
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Philly Anti Pushes to Make Pipe Info Public that Terrorists Can Use

The actions of one man seeking access to confidential risk assessments and plans for the Mariner East pipelines in the Philadelphia area will, if successful, put information into the public domain that terrorists can potentially use. Note we don’t believe it is the intent of this man to grant access to sensitive information to terrorists. But that is the consequence, the outcome, the result of his actions–if a court now reviewing the case grants his request.
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100+ Union Members Protest Dela. County Council Mtg re ME Pipes

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More than 100 union members packed a Delaware County, PA Council meeting yesterday to send the loud and clear message they are not happy with council members who have asked PA Gov. Tom Wolf to impose a moratorium on all of the Mariner East pipelines that pass through the county. Two weeks ago the council passed a resolution asking Wolf to block all of the pipelines, those already built and those under construction. This is what third world, tinpot dictatorships do–not the U.S.A. Union members were at the meeting to remind council members they vote, in large numbers, and they’re willing to toss them out of office if they continue with this chicanery.
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Sunoco Spending $200M to Expand Marcus Hook NGL Refinery

Marcus Hook refinery complex

On Monday Energy Transfer, parent company of Sunoco Logistics Partners, announced a $200 million expansion of its Marcus Hook refinery located in Delaware County, PA, just outside Philadelphia. The upgrades include building a new warehouse and adding more propane and butane “chillers” (to keep the gases cold). The two-year project will employ some 1,200 union workers.
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Huge Sinkhole Forms Near ME2 Pipe in Delaware County, PA

Credit: Philadelphia Inquirer (click for larger version)

Our lead story yesterday was the rumor there has been another sinkhole open up in Delaware County, PA near an existing (old) pipeline temporarily being used as part of the Mariner East 2 (ME2) NGL pipeline system (see PUC Investigates ME2 Bypass Pipe in Delaware Co. for New Sinkhole). Indeed there was. Officials report a 12 foot by 12 foot sinkhole in the right-of-way for several Sunoco-owned pipelines. The good news is that no bare pipe was exposed, the hole has already been filled, and ethane/propane continue to flow through ME2.
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PUC Investigates ME2 Bypass Pipe in Delaware Co. for New Sinkhole

Credit: Philadelphia Inquirer (click for larger version)

The Mariner East 1 (ME1) natural gas liquids pipeline that flows ethane and propane came back online Monday (see Mariner East 1 NGL Pipe Restarts Today After Shutdown Since Jan.). It had been out of service for more than three months because a sinkhole exposed a few feet of bare pipe near Philadelphia. Good thing ME1 is back, because yesterday the Pennsylvania Public Service Utility (PUC) announced an investigation into a potential new sinkhole near a section of pipeline used for the Mariner East 2 pipeline in Delaware County.
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Living with ME2 Pipeline Construction in Your Back Yard

We spotted a story about landowners in the Philadelphia suburbs who currently have to live with construction of the Mariner East 2 pipelines (plural, there are two of them, ME2 and ME2X), literally happening in their back yards. While we are strong supporters of the ME2 project, we are not unsympathetic to landowners and the hassles they have to endure while it’s being built.
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PA AG Shapiro Colludes w/Delaware County DA to Investigate ME Pipe

Ever notice how predators like to hunt in packs? First the Chester County, PA District Attorney launched an ethically questionable “investigation” into “crimes” that may have been committed by building the Mariner East pipelines through his county (see Chester County DA Goes Rogue, Targets ME2 Pipe w/Criminal Probe). The Chester DA recently impaneled a grand jury to hear fake allegations against Energy Transfer and Sunoco Logistics Partners (see Politically Motivated Investigation of ME Pipe Convenes Grand Jury).
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Delaware County Asks to Join Lawsuit Against Mariner East Pipes

In November seven anti-pipeline residents of Chester and Delaware counties (Philadelphia suburbs) filed a lawsuit against the Mariner East pipeline projects–1, 2 and 2X–alleging the pipelines are unsafe. It didn’t take long for others to jump on the litigation bandwagon:
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Delayed ME2 Pipeline Cost PA a $675M Plastics Plant + 1K Lost Jobs

Braskem USA, headquartered in Philadelphia had a decision to make in 2016: Locate a new polypropylene plant in their own backyard, at the Marcus Hook refinery site on the outskirts of Philly–or locate it in Texas. They picked Texas because not enough NGLs (propane) were flowing to Marcus Hook due to delays (caused by Big Green lawsuits) in the Mariner East 2 pipeline.
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East Coast Dominates LPG Exports via Philly’s Marcus Hook

According to RBN Energy, “U.S. production of natural gas liquids is projected to increase by 17% this year, and by another 10% in 2020.” NGLs cover a variety of hydrocarbons. Two NGLs, propane and butane, are further classified as LPG–or liquefied petroleum gas. Of the four “smaller” LPG export facilities here in the U.S., two-thirds of all exported LPGs last year came from one–Energy Transfer’s Marcus Hook refinery near Philadelphia.
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PA Enviro Hearing Board Rejects Air Permit for Marcus Hook

Marcus Hook complex (credit: Wikipedia)

Score a minor victory for the odious Philadelphia Clean Air Council in their fight to block any/all fossil fuel projects any/everywhere. They’ve convinced the PA Environmental Hearing Board to question a previously issued air quality permit for the Marcus Hook refinery in Delaware County, near Philadelphia.
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