DEP levies $12.6 million penalty against Mariner East 2 pipeline
HARRISBURG, Pa.–The state Department of Environmental Protection announced Thursday they are fining Sunoco Pipeline, LLP $12.6 million for permit violations related to the construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline project. The penalty is one of the largest civil penalties collected in in a single settlement, according to the state agency.
The Sunoco Pipeline has made changes since work halted on January 3 on the $2.5 billion Mariner East 2 pipeline. At the time, DEP issued an order suspending construction of the pipeline in response to dozens of environmental violations. In its order, DEP told Sunoco to “fully explain the failures that led to the violations” and come up with a plan to fix them.” The company also has to restore or replace the water supply of two homeowners in Silver Spring Township, Cumberland County who complained in December about “cloudy water” resulting from pipeline construction.
“Throughout the life of this project, DEP has consistently held this operator to the highest standard possible. A permit suspension is one of the most significant penalties DEP can levy,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell.
“Since the permit suspension over a month ago, Sunoco has demonstrated that it has taken steps to ensure the company will conduct the remaining pipeline construction activities in accordance with the law and permit conditions, and will be allowed to resume. DEP will be monitoring activities closely to ensure that Sunoco is meeting the terms of this agreement and its permit” McDonnell added.
The pipeline, which spans 350 miles, will carry natural gas liquids from the Marcellus Shale in Western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio, to an export terminal near Philadelphia. The majority of the gas will be sent to a plastics manufacturer in Scotland.
The $12.6 million penalty will go to the Clean Water Fund and the Dams and Encroachments Fund, according to DEP.