Sunoco's Mariner East 2 pipeline halted over Pennsylvania town settlement dispute
- An administrative law judge at the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission has ordered Sunoco Pipeline LP to halt work on its Mariner East 2 natural gas pipeline project, while it examines a dispute over the location of a valve and other infrastructure.
- According to Reuters, West Goshen Township told the ALJ that the company had started work in violation of a 2015 settlement. Drilling in other parts of Chester County has also been halted due to a fluid spill.
- Mariner East 2 will carry 345,000 barrels per day of propane, ethane and butane to markets in Pennsylvania. The company expects to begin operations in the second half of 2017.
Pipeline officials say they will show that Sunoco "complied at all times with our agreement with West Goshen Township," according to Reuters. The company is aiming to complete the project by the end of the third quarter.
Sunoco's Mariner East 2 will run more than 300 miles across Pennsylvania and part of Ohio, carrying natural gas liquids from the Marcellus and Utica shales. The liquids will be processed, stored and distributed to local, domestic and waterborne market, according to Sunoco.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) approved the project in February, following the company's victory in a highly contested lawsuit filed by landowners arguing against the company using eminent domain to site the pipeline through private property.
It is the second bit of recent bad news for Energy Transfer Partners, which owns Sunoco. Earlier this week, the West Virginia DEP informed Energy Transfer that it must stop work on a portion of its 700-mile Rover Pipeline, until it is in compliance with its water quality permit. The work stoppage resulted from sediment and erosion control measures that did not comply with West Virginia water regulations.
The Rover pipeline will transport up to 3.25 billion cubic feet/day of natural gas to markets in the Midwest, Northeast, East Coast, Gulf Coast and Canada and is expected to be operational in November.
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