NOV 11-15-17
Part of the Notice of Violation sent to Sunoco/ETP.


Today (November 15, 2017) the Department of Environmental Protection issued a “Notice of Violation” (NOV) to Sunoco/ETP for problems with its construction of the Dragonpipe (Mariner East 2 pipeline). This is not the first time the DEP has issued one of these—I count 22 instances prior to today—but this may be the most egregious violation.

In this case, Sunoco/ETP used HDD in a location where that was not permitted by the DEP, in the vicinity of a tributary to Hay Creek (an important wild trout fishery, listed among Pennsylvania’s “Exceptional Value Waters”). The unauthorized drilling resulted in a frac-out which went unreported (although Sunoco/ETP is required to report all of them). It was discovered by Berks County conservation inspectors.

The Clean Air Council speculates that Sunoco proceeded as it did because it was in a hurry and this was the fastest way to construct the pipeline through the area. Sunoco/ETP was not permitted to work in the area between October 1 and April 1, which may have tempted them to take shortcuts. The image below, taken from one of the Berks County site plans for the pipeline project, shows the date restriction.

UNT to Hay Creek 11-15-17

This violation, like the illegal clearing of a plot of land in West Goshen (see “West Goshen cries ‘foul’”), shows the wanton disregard Sunoco/ETP has for the laws and regulations under which it has obtained permits to build this pipeline. There are numerous other similar infractions. If this is not evidence enough that all of those permits should be revoked, then what would be?