Chesco Commissioners to Wolf: shutdown Mariner East II

WEST CHESTER — The County Commissioners Tuesday strongly called on Gov. Tom Wolf to end construction and revoked permits on the Mariner East II pipeline after a series of events, including sinkholes and release of materials into Marsh Creek Lake.

The letter making the request said:

Dear Governor Wolf:

During a telephone conference with Commonwealth officials on Friday, August 14, 2020, regarding Sunoco Pipeline, L.P.’s (Sunoco) Mainer East 2 project (ME2) in Chester County, we learned that the incident which occurred at Marsh Creek Lake during the week of August 10, 2020 also involved a sinkhole 15-feet wide and 8-feet deep. We understand that the sinkhole occurred a mere 5-feet from the active Mariner East 1 (ME1) pipeline, which presently carries hazardous liquids.

This sinkhole is in addition to the numerous other recent sinkholes that began appearing in West Whiteland Township, Chester County in mid-June 2020. As you may be aware, a sinkhole in West Whiteland Township in 2018 exposed the ME1 pipeline and prompted the Chairwoman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) to order that the ME1 pipeline temporarily cease operations because “permitting the continued flow of hazardous liquids through the ME1 pipeline without proper steps to ensure the integrity of the pipeline could have catastrophic results impacting the public.”

Yet another sinkhole within feet of the active ME1 pipeline is alarming and deeply troubling. While we wrote to you last week asking that Sunoco’s permits be suspended, after learning about this new development, it seems that civil penalties and temporary suspensions are no longer sufficient. The construction of ME2 must be stopped and the permits authorizing its construction must be revoked. Doing anything less risks “catastrophic results impacting the public.”

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