Suspension of Mariner 2 Drilling

EcoWatch has provided a review of recent orders suspending some work on the Sunoco Logistics Mariner East 2 Pipeline.
Sunoco Ordered to Temporarily Suspend Drilling on Pipeline Project
The Pennsylvania’s Environmental Hearing Board ordered Sunoco Pipeline LP Tuesday to temporarily halt some types of work on a $2.5 billion pipeline project designed to carry 275,000 barrels a day of butane, propane and other liquid fossil fuels from Ohio and West Virginia, across Pennsylvania, to the Atlantic coast.

On July 19, three environmental groups presented Judge Bernard Labuskes, Jr. with documentation showing that the project had caused dozens of drilling fluid spills and other accidents between April and mid-June.

“Across the state, Sunoco has unleashed drilling fluid into exceptional value wetlands, high-quality trout streams, reservoirs, and groundwater endangering both drinking water supplies and our natural environment,” Clean Air Council said in a statement. The nonprofit, along with the Mountain Watershed Association, Inc. and the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, submitted the evidence to the judge one week […]

By |July 30th, 2017|Categories: News, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

Mariner East 2 Environmental Violations

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 […]

By |July 25th, 2017|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights, Uncategorized|

Mariner East 2 Additional Line Rights

Sunoco Pipeline has provided owners with Exhibit B plans/maps showing easement rights beyond the boundaries of rights as provided in old easements. When challenged, Sunoco Pipeline has at times revised the asserted rights to areas contained within prior prior easements. Property owners are cautioned that Sunoco Pipeline has frequently recorded Memorandums of Additional Line Rights without notice to the property owners. Property owners should check with the County Recorder of Deeds.

By |June 30th, 2017|Categories: Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

Mariner East 2 Appeals

The Commonwealth Court has affirmed a Cumberland County Case and a Lebanon County case providing eminent domain power to Sunoco Pipeline for the Mariner East 2 Pipeline. Faherty Law Firm filed petitions for Allowance of Appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in June of 2017. The Petitions quoted President John Adams: “Property must be secure, or liberty cannot exist.”

By |June 29th, 2017|Categories: Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Condemnations

Property owners in the path of the Williams Company Atlantic Sunrise pipeline are now subject to condemnation court filings. The litigation requests approval of the taking of property rights by eminent domain and quick possession of those rights. Property owners may have weak challenges to the condemnations, but continue with rights to just compensation. Williams Company appraisals have valued incorrect property rights to facilitate negotiation of minimal settlements. Owners are encouraged to contact experienced eminent domain counsel to obtain just compensation.
Access sought to 13 properties
A Texas gas pipeline company is seeking a preliminary injunction to obtain immediate possession of rights of way over 13 properties in four counties for the Atlantic Sunrise project.

The motion filed Wednesday in U.S. Middle District Court by Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Co. seeks access to four properties in Lebanon County, five in Columbia County, three in Northumberland and one in Schuylkill.

The 13 are among the 16 central Pennsylvania properties over which Transco seeks to obtain rights […]

By |February 24th, 2017|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

Environmental Groups Challenge Pipeline Approval

The recent Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection approval of the Mariner East 2 pipeline has been challenged by environmental groups. Sunoco Pipeline is progressing with construction while the appeal is considered. Similarly, construction is progressing while the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court considers the Property Rights Protection Act challenges to the power of eminent domain. Construction is projected to happen on those properties where Sunoco Pipeline has purchased easements or obtained possession of property rights. A Commonwealth Court decision on the Property Rights Protection Act may be issued in middle to late 2017.
Environmentalists oppose permits for Pa. pipeline
Environmental advocacy groups are trying to halt construction of a $2.5 billion natural gas liquids pipeline across southern Pennsylvania while they appeal newly issued permits that they say would unleash massive and irreparable damage to the state’s environment and residents.

In filings Monday, three groups said the state Department of Environmental Protection had approved incomplete and legally flawed permit applications for Sunoco Logistics’ Mariner East 2 […]

By |February 23rd, 2017|Categories: Condemnation, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

Sunoco Pipeline Obtains Environmental Approval

While Sunoco Pipeline has obtained regulatory approval, Sunoco continues to seek property rights. Faherty Law Firm continues to contest eminent domain power based on the Pennsylvania anti – Kelo statute, the Property Rights Protection Act. Oral argument is scheduled for March 6  before the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court in Harrisburg. Mike Faherty will ask the Court to review whether the public is the primary and paramount beneficiary of the project.
PA grants final permits for $2.5B Mariner East pipeline
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection on Monday approved water-crossing and sedimentation permits for the hotly contested Mariner East 2 pipeline, which would transport natural-gas liquids across Pennsylvania to a terminal in Marcus Hook.

The permits are believed to be the final regulatory hurdle for Sunoco Logistics to begin construction of the pipeline, though environmental groups that oppose the project, including the Clean Air Council and the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, are expected to appeal their approval to the Environmental Hearing Board.

DEP conducted five hearings and […]

By |February 14th, 2017|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

FERC Approval of Atlantic Sunrise

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved the Williams Partners proposed Atlantic Sunrise pipeline. Williams is expected to conclude property acquisition negotiations or proceed with condemnation filings in February, 2017.
Pipeline clears federal hurdle
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has signed off on the contested Atlantic Sunrise project, which calls for the expansion of a natural gas pipeline that would funnel natural gas from the Marcellus Shale regions through the midstate and across the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast.

The commission issued a certificate of public convenience and necessity to Williams Partners LP, placing the Oklahoma-based energy group behind the $3 billion project another step closer toward breaking ground on the expansion.

The energy company’s plans call for about 200 miles of new natural gas pipelines, some of which would pass through the midstate.

Williams Partners still must garner approvals from the Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the State Historic Preservation Office.

The decision marked the final clearance Williams Partners needed from […]

By |February 6th, 2017|Categories: Condemnation, Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

FERC Approval Statement re Atlantic Sunrise

On December 30, 2016 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a Final Environmental Impact Statement endorsing the Williams Company Atlantic Sunrise pipeline. The Commission stated: “FERC staff determined that construction and operation of the project would result in some adverse environmental impacts, but impacts would be reduced to less-than-significant levels with the implementation of Transco’s proposed and FERC staff’s recommended mitigation measures.” Williams continues to buy options and easements for the large natural gas pipeline. The statement foreshadows final federal approval. Williams anticipates the start of mainline construction in mid-2017. Faherty Law Firm is negotiating revised easement terms and compensation for landowners.

Read FERC’s Opinion on the Final Environmental Impact Statement here.

By |January 10th, 2017|Categories: Pipeline Construction, Property Rights|

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Denial

On December 29, 2016 our Pennsylvania Supreme court refused to hear the property owners’ appeal of the Commonwealth Court decision of Martin et. al. v. Sunoco Pipeline. The Martin decision had approved the use of eminent domain for the Mariner East 2 pipelines. The Martin case had involved three properties. Owners of one of the properties settled before the Supreme Court decision. The approval of use of eminent domain is final and binding concerning the other two properties in that case.

Other cases remain on appeal. To the extent that those cases involve different issues and evidence, those cases preserve some hope that eminent domain would be eventually denied because the public is not the “primary and paramount beneficiary” of the project.

By |January 4th, 2017|Categories: Eminent domain, Pipeline Construction|