Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Clean Air Council Announces Voluntary Settlement With Energy Transfer Over Air Permits For Marcus Hook Natural Gas Liquids Plant

On May 24, the
Clean Air Council announced a six-year saga over air pollution from the Energy Transfer natural gas liquids processing plant and terminal at Marcus Hook ended with a voluntary legal settlement in which Energy Transfer agreed to drop its appeals of two air pollution permits. 

The settlement ensures that stricter air pollution standards will apply at the facility, according to the Clean Air Council.

Energy Transfer had appealed the two permits to the Environmental Hearing Board on March 12, 2021, arguing that the emissions from the plant should be considered separately rather than together. 

One of the two permits was issued as a result of Clean Air Council’s successful April 29, 2016 appeal of an earlier version of the permit. 

In that appeal, the Board on January 9, 2019 had required the emissions to be considered together because the separate permit applications were really for one project: building the processing plant to handle liquids arriving on the Mariner East pipelines. 

By breaking the project into pieces, Energy Transfer had tried to avoid having to comply with more stringent air pollution regulations. 

The Clean Air Council intervened in Energy Transfer’s 2021 appeals to prevent Energy Transfer from undoing the Board’s decision.

“The end of these appeals preserves Clean Air Council’s 2019 victory, which has resulted in an air permit being proposed that will better protect residents in Marcus Hook and surrounding areas,” said Joseph Otis Minott, Executive Director and Chief Counsel of Clean Air Council.

The settlement allows Energy Transfer to argue in the future that it should be able to permit projects piecemeal, but the dispute over this aspect of the Marcus Hook Terminal permitting is over. 

Energy Transfer had appealed Plan Approval 23-0119E as revised after the 2019 Board decision (at EHB Docket No. 2021-030-L) and Plan Approval 23-0119J (at EHB Docket No 2021-031-L).

[Posted: May 24, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

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