Friday, February 8, 2019

DEP Puts Indefinite Hold On Reviewing Permits For All Energy Transfer/Sunoco Pipeline Projects In PA

On February 8, the Department of Environmental Protection announced it has suspended all reviews of clean water permit applications and other pending approvals associated with Energy Transfer/Sunoco and subsidiaries’ pipeline projects until further notice due to non-compliance with an order related to the Revolution pipeline explosion in Beaver County in September.
Gov. Tom Wolf also issued a statement related to DEP's action calling on the General Assembly to fill gaps in the state's authority to regulate pipeline routes and other measures.
“ETC Northeast Pipeline, operated by ET, failed to comply with the October 29, 2018, order issued following the explosion along the Revolution pipeline on September 10, 2018,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “This hold will continue until the operator corrects their violations to our satisfaction.”
DEP issued the order to ETC Northeast Pipeline, LLC (ETC) in October 2018, with instructions that the operator stabilize disturbed areas and prevent further erosion from the construction area.
Multiple inspections by DEP staff, most recently in January 2019, found that ET had not fulfilled the terms of the order and were not progressing toward compliance.
“In October, DEP cited ETC for sediment-laden discharges into waterways, improperly maintained erosion controls, and failure to stabilize disturbed areas,” said McDonnell. “Disappointingly, many of these issues persist.”
DEP issued the October order after inspections discovered violations including unreported landslides, impacts to aquatic resources, construction activities occurring in unpermitted areas, and several sections of the pipeline that required the installation of additional measures to prevent accelerated erosion.
The permit hold will affect an in-service date for the Energy Transfer operated Revolution pipeline, which is not in service, and the Sunoco Pipeline LP (SPLP) Mariner East 2 pipeline, and all other clean water permit applications and approvals.
Energy Transfer is the parent company of ETC and SPLP. Mariner East 2 is in service, however there are additional approvals needed for additional pipeline infrastructure as part of the project.
There are 27 approvals currently under review by DEP for Mariner East 2.
The permit hold will not apply to any approvals needed for ET to comply with the order, and mitigation and environmental restoration work along Mariner East 2.
“DEP is standing by to approve any work needed to repair the damage caused by ET’s activities and bring the operator back into compliance,” said McDonnell.
DEP may also take additional enforcement action in the future to address these ongoing violations.
Click Here for a copy of DEP’s letter.
In February of 2018, Sunoco was fined $12.6 million by DEP for construction violations associated with the Mariner East 2 Pipeline, the largest fine ever imposed on a pipeline project.
The Public Utility Commission’s investigation into the Revolution Pipeline explosion is active and ongoing to a spokesperson for the PUC.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Subscribe To Receive Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner