Saturday, December 31, 2022

Observer-Reporter: Explosion, Fire At Energy Transfer's Revolution Natural Gas Cryogenic Plant Burned For Nearly 11 Hours On Christmas Day In Smith Twp., Washington County

On December 30, the
Observer-Reporter newspaper reported an explosion and fire at Energy Transfer’s Revolution Cryogenic Natural Gas Processing Plant broke out about 7:30 a.m. on Christmas morning in Smith Township, Washington County.

The article said the fire continued burning at the natural gas facility for nearly 11 hours.

Natural gas cryogenic plants take natural gas and cool it to sub-zero temperatures-- minus 120 degrees Fahrenheit-- in order to condense and separate out liquids like butane, ethane and propane from the gas.

In Pennsylvania, these natural gas liquids are shipped via pipeline to places like the Shell Petrochemical Plant in Beaver County to make plastics and through the Mariner East Pipelines to Southeast Pennsylvania as feedstock for other petrochemical plants and export.

The Observer-Reporter said nearby neighbors to the plant-- the Duran family-- were just opening their Christmas presents when they heard a “jet noise” from the plant followed by a loud bang that rattled the house.

“It blew and shook the whole house,” said Kasey Duran. “A big piece (of equipment) over there caught fire.  The kids are terrified. The whole family is scared. The peace is gone,” Duran said.

Duran said she called 911 and she and her family evacuated their home.

Duran said she contacted the state Department of Environmental Protection about the incident and was told they planned to send inspectors to tour the plant Tuesday (January 3).

Duran and her family returned to their home around noon and saw the fire continue to burn for several more hours. 

She hopes the situation will cause new safety protocols by the company and emergency responders since her family was never officially notified of the incident. 

By the time a “shelter-in-place” order was implemented, her family had already left for Burgettstown.

Click Here to read the entire article.

A post on Bob Donnan’s Blog noted the Energy Transfer plant is located next to Rover/ETC’s Bulger natural gas pipeline compressor station, which is next to MarkWest’s Smith compressor station. 

The Bulger compressor station and Revolution cryogenic plant are also across the street from MarkWest’s Harmon Creek cryogenic natural gas processing plant on Point Pleasant Road.

The Blog also reported another nearby resident saying DEP told her they would be onsite January 3 to assess the damage and the plant will be offline until DEP allows it back in operation.

DEP also told the resident the plant would not be allowed to remove damaged pieces of the plant without DEP inspecting it.

Aerial photos of the plant taken on December 30 by Donnan’s Marcellus Air show cranes preparing to remove damaged equipment and a special tractor trailer truck standing by to take the equipment off site.

Donnan’s photos were forwarded to the DEP Office handling the investigation.

Click Here to read the Bob Donnan Blog post and view the aerial photos.

[Note: Energy Transfer subsidiary ETC Revolution Pipeline was fined $30.6 million by DEP for a 2018 explosion of its brand new Revolution Natural Gas Pipeline in Beaver County.  Read more here.

[The Public Utility Commission fined the company $1 million for the same explosion.  Read more here.

[Energy Transfer was convicted of criminal charges by the Office of Attorney General for the same explosion and for construction practices used in the Mariner East Natural Gas Liquids Pipelines.  Read more here.

[Energy Transfer’s subsidiary Sunoco Pipeline has been fined more than $24 million related to dozens of violations during the construction of the Mariner East Pipelines.  Read more here.

[Recent articles about the struggles of Navy veterans Patrick & Helen Robinson in Indiana County [Read more here] and the Shawley Family in Cambria County [Read more here] illustrate the kind of on-the-ground impacts the Mariner East Pipelines construction has had.  Those problems have yet to be resolved.]

(Photos: KDKA photo of fire; Other photos by Bob Donnan & Marcellus Air.)

NewsClips - Energy Transfer Explosion:

-- Observer-Report: Explosion, Fire At ETC Natural Gas Cryogenic Plant Rattles Smith Township In Washington County

-- Bob Donnan Blog: Aerial Photos Of ETC Natural Gas Cryogenic Plant In Washington County Show Cranes Working To Remove Explosion Damaged Equipment

-- KDKA: Fire Ripped Through ETC Revolution Cryogenic Natural Gas/Natural Gas Liquids Processing Plant Monday In Washington County

Related Articles - Mariner East Pipeline:

-- Oil & Gas Industry Impacts: Navy Veterans Patrick & Helen Robinson Relate Their 7-Year Struggle Dealing With Impacts Of Mariner East Pipeline Construction In Indiana County, And They Continue   [PaEN]

-- Oil & Gas Industry Impacts: Cambria County Family Sues Sunoco After 3 Years Of Dealing With Damage To Home, Well, Septic System, Property From Mariner East Pipeline Construction    [PaEN]

DEP Public Notice Dashboards:

-- Pennsylvania Oil & Gas Weekly Compliance Dashboard - Dec. 24 to 30  [PaEN] 

-- PA Oil & Gas Industrial Facilities: Permit Notices/Opportunities To Comment  [PaEN]   

-- DEP Posted 50 Pages Of Permit-Related Notices In Dec. 31 PA Bulletin  [PaEN]

Related Articles This Week:

-- DEP Report Finds: Conventional Oil & Gas Drillers Routinely Abandon Wells; Fail To Report How Millions Of Gallons Of Waste Is Disposed; And Non-Compliance Is An ‘Acceptable Norm’  [PaEN]

-- - Laura Legere: ‘Rule Rather Than The Exception’: DEP Rips Conventional Oil & Gas Industry For Noncompliance

-- PA Oil & Gas Industry Has Record Year: Cost, Criminal Convictions Up; $3.1 Million In Penalties Collected; Record Number Of Violations Issued; Major Compliance Issues Uncovered; Evidence Of Health Impacts Mounts [PaEN]

-- DEP Issues 2021 Oil & Gas Program Annual Report

-- Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, North American Electric Reliability Corp. To Open Joint Inquiry Into Winter Storm Elliott  [PaEN]

[Posted: December 31, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

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