State, local officials bring Mariner East II construction under scrutiny

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times @mikemcgannpa

The Mariner East II pipeline is facing closer scrutiny from state and local officials after sinkholes developed in West Whiteland and noise complaints prompted a cease and desist order in Uwchlan. Times file photo.

The Mariner East II pipeline faced government intervention on two fronts this week, as local officials in Uwchlan informed Energy Transfer/Sunoco that its use of a pneumatic hammer was violating the township’s noise ordinance on Wednesday and issues a cease and desist order — and then received notice Friday from the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) that the project was the subject of an investigation related to a series of recent sinkholes in West Whiteland — which appear to be damaging Business Route 30.

The PUC’s Bureau of Investigation & Enforcement  (I&E) informed Sunoco/ET that it has been and continues to “closely monitor a string of events near the 400 block of East Lincoln Highway and Route 30/Lincoln Highway, in West Whiteland Township, Chester County. These events occurred near construction being conducted by Sunoco Pipeline LP (Sunoco).”

In addition to the sinkholes, cracks began to appear Friday on Business Route 30 near the sinkholes, with I&E saying it is impacting traffic in the area.

Sinkholes began appearing along the pipeline in West Whiteland on July 10, with additional sinkholes developing over the next few days, I&E’s statement issued Friday said.

According to I&E, “the subsidence locations have been stabilized with grout filling and Sunoco is performing ground-penetrating radar analysis three times per day on the roadway and nearby walking/bike path, along with geophysical testing along the pipeline right of way. Safety Division engineers and geotechnical experts will independently analyze all data collected by the company.”

In Uwchlan, local officials informed Sunoco/ET that the current use of the very loud power hammer — some residents said it was audible from miles away  — violated township ordinance.

The Township’s Building and Zoning Official, Tara Giordano, informed the company that on July 14 it: “made, created or permitted noise in the Township of such character, intensity or duration, when heard or detected over the property line of the property line within which the noise was generated, as to steadily or intermittently annoy, disturb, injure or endanger the comfort, repose or peace of a reasonable person of normal sensitivities, at and around Whitford Road, between Crump Road and Lori Circle in Uwchlan Township, Pennsylvania, in violation of Section 166-5 of Chapter 166 of Uwchlan Township Code.”

As such, the township issued an immediate cease and desist order.

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