Sunday, December 30, 2018

PA’s Most Penalized, Controversial Natural Gas Pipeline Now In Service- Mariner East 2

Late Saturday evening (December 29), Energy Transfer LP (Sunoco) announced its Mariner East 2 natural gas liquids (NGLs) pipeline is in service, available for both interstate and intrastate service.
The 350-mile NGL pipeline transports domestically produced ethane, propane and butane east from processing plants in Ohio across West Virginia and Pennsylvania to Energy Transfer’s Marcus Hook Industrial Complex in Delaware County, PA, where the NGLs are stored for distribution to local, domestic and waterborne markets.
Mariner East 2 is part of Energy Transfer’s Mariner East system of pipelines designed to provide much-needed NGL takeaway capacity for the Marcellus and Utica Shale production areas in Eastern Ohio, West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania.
The Mariner East 2X pipeline, which parallels Mariner East 2, is expected to be in service in late 2019.
The Mariner East system will provide both operational flexibility and enhanced security of NGL supply from producing areas to key markets in the region and beyond.
Troubled History
DEP has taken high-profile enforcement actions against the Mariner East 2 Pipeline, including collecting a record $12.6 million penalty for water quality and other violations and completely shutting down construction at one point.
The PUC has also taken a number of other actions against the Mariner East Pipelines on construction and safety issues during 2018, including most recently a proposed $225,000 penalty for an ethane/propane leak from Marine East 1.
A complaint filed with the Public Utility Commission by Sen. Andy Dinniman (D-Chester) on construction and safety issues surrounding the Mariner East 2 Pipeline resulted in a temporary order ceasing construction, but the bulk of the case is still making its way through the Administrative Law Judge process.
The Mariner East 2 Pipeline was the subject of a Senate hearing in March pointed to the need to hold pipeline companies accountable for impacts, providing for the safety of nearby residents and for better regulation of the routes taken by pipelines.
At  a Senate Committee meeting in June, Sen. Don White (R-Indiana) took the highly unusual step of singling out one pipeline company by name.  He said if the issues raised at the Senate hearing are only about one company [Sunoco Mariner East Pipelines] “we should be able to deal with that company and put them out of business.”
A House hearing in July saw both the head of DEP and the vice-chair of the Public Utility Commission say there needs to be a “serious conversation” about how Pennsylvania can have a meaningful role in siting pipelines in the state.
Earlier in December, the District Attorney in Chester County announced he was opening a criminal investigation into Mariner East Pipelines construction practices.
In September, another Energy Transfer LP natural gas pipeline exploded in Beaver County.
The PUC’s investigation of the Beaver County explosion is still active and ongoing.  DEP inspections in November found unreported landslides on the right-of-way and other issues.

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