The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has fined Sunoco Logistics and is investigating numerous other incidents. Property owners may have a cause of action based on trespass or pollution beyond Sunoco acquired property rights.
DEP issues violation notices over pipeline
The state Department of Environmental Protection has issued four notices of violation to Sunoco Logistics over its construction of the $3 billion, 350-milelong Mariner East 2 pipeline.
The notices were issued to Sunoco in two of the 17 counties along the pipeline route for drilling fluid’s – a mix of water and bentonite clay used to lubricate the drill bit – impact on the state’s water. The department says the fluid is nontoxic and doesn’t have lasting effects on water.
Additionally, a consent order and agreement has been executed for a violation that impacted a wetland
area next to Interstate 81 in Cumberland County. That resulted in a $87,600 penalty. Plus, numerous other investigations of incidents that are anticipated to result in enforcement actions are underway, DEP said in a statement.
According to a recent report by StateImpact Pennsylvania, the pipeline construction has resulted in at least 61 drilling mud spills from April 25 through June 17 that occurred in 10 counties along the pipeline route that ranged from minor releases of five gallons to larger ones involving tens of thousands of gallons.
At Gov. Tom Wolf’s direction, the department plans to provide a weekly update of incidents related to this pipeline’s construction, which has come under pressure from groups opposing the project. The updates are on DEP’s website.
“With so much concern about the Mariner East 2 pipeline, the public needs to know that DEP is taking its oversight and regulatory enforcement role seriously,” DEP Secretar y Patrick McDonnell said. “This project has raised questions about public health and the health of the environment, and it is important to be transparent about the issues that have arisen over the course of the construction.” “I want to be clear: This is not the end of the road, but the beginning,” McDonnell said, “and I want the people of Pennsylvania to know and be confident that DEP is exercising the fullest extent of our regulatory authority for this project.”
Written by: Jan Murphy | Patriot News