Pa DEP approves building Pa Pipeline Project/Mariner East 2 pipeline, protests to continue
DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. – Late Monday afternoon, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) approved the permit applications from Sunoco Pipeline LP for the PA Pipeline Project/Mariner East 2 pipeline project. The 300 mile pipeline will transport natural gas liquids(NGL) from southwest counties to Marcus Hook, in southeast Pennsylvania.
“I am proud of the immense undertaking our staff took to hold this project accountable within the confines of state law and DEP’s role in this process over the last few years,” said Acting DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “This was a huge undertaking – holding five hearings during a 60-day comment period, reviewing permit applications and technical deficiencies for more than 20,000 hours, responding to 29,000 comments, and ensuring Sunoco addressed deficiencies identified in its initial applications.”
The project required a Chapter 105 permit for each of the 17 counties it crosses, , as well as one Chapter 102 permit for each DEP region the project crosses including parts of Cumberland, Dauphin Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon and Perry counties.
“The intensive review included input and feedback from scores of DEP biologists, wetland ecologists, engineers, legal staff, and permit reviewers. Further conditions were put on the operator as we move forward to ensure accountability to state standards,” explained McDonnell.
Part of the review process included revisions to the original permit applications submitted by Sunoco. These revisions were received in December 2016, in response to technical deficiency letters sent by DEP in September 2016. The final approvals include conditions in both the Chapter 102 and Chapter 105 permits to establish environmental protections specific to this project.
DEP did not hold an additional public comment period or hold additional hearings because the revisions Sunoco made to the applications did not substantively change right-of-ways nor the corridor of the permits. Previously submitted comments were still applicable.
DEP’s obligation is to ensure that installation of infrastructure like pipelines is in accordance with the relevant regulations, and that concerns raised by commentators were addressed within the scope of those regulations.
Information on the project can be found here: http://www.dep.pa.gov/Business/ProgramIntegration/Pennsylvania-Pipeline-Portal/Pages/Mariner-East-II.aspx
Despite DEP approval the pipeline project still faces local opposition. Lebanon Pipeline Awareness will host a public program on pipeline construction on Monday, February 27, at 6:30 pm at the Lebanon County Municipal Building auditorium. The session is designed for landowners along the proposed routes for ME II and ASP and interested citizens.
Organizers say the program will address what you need to do to protect your land from careless or improper pipeline construction on your property.