The Latest: Sunoco pipeline directional drilling halted
Jul. 25, 2017
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Latest on a halt to work on a natural gas pipeline in Pennsylvania (all times local):
An environmental hearing board judge has ordered a two-week halt to horizontal directional drilling in Pennsylvania on a natural gas pipeline pending a hearing next month.
The order Tuesday halts such drilling at 55 sites for the Mariner East 2 pipeline until the Aug. 7 hearing before the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board.
The $2.5 billion, 350-mile (563-kilometer) pipeline across southern Pennsylvania is to carry propane, butane and ethane from the Marcellus Shale natural gas formation to an export terminal near Philadelphia. Horizontal directional drilling is used to tunnel beneath waterways and other obstructions.
Sunoco Pipeline spokesman Jeff Shields said the hearing "will demonstrate that we have expended every effort to meet the strict conditions of our environmental permits" and non-horizontal directional drilling construction will continue "with safety and protection of Pennsylvania's environment as our first priorities."
An administrative law judge has temporarily halted work on Sunoco's Mariner East 2 Pipeline in eastern Pennsylvania.
That happened because the judge wants the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to hear and rule whether Sunoco violated a 2015 settlement agreement with West Goshen Township. The township contends Sunoco jumped the gun on some construction earlier this month and also disputes Sunoco's decision to move a valve control station.
Sunoco says it moved the station for safety reasons, and says it looks forward to convincing the PUC that it has otherwise complied with the agreement.
The pipeline project has been protested by other Pennsylvanians who blame it for fouling their well water or spilling a clay lubricant at various sites.
The $2.5 billion, 350-mile (563-kilometer) pipeline will carry propane, butane and ethane.