Pipeline company could resume drilling in Pennsylvania under deal

Pipeline company could resume drilling in Pennsylvania under deal

The developer of the Marine East 2 pipeline in Pennsylvania has reached a settlement agreement with the state and environmentalists that could let it resume underground boring.

Under the deal, Sunoco Pipeline would have to re-evaluate construction plans for high-risk areas in an effort to prevent the clay slurry spills that occurred dozens of times in recent months during pipeline construction, particularly in vulnerable areas like wetlands, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

Regulators last month ordered a halt to all underground boring for the cross-state project in response to environmentalists’ challenges, which cited the spills.


Sunoco, the developer, is a unit of Energy Transfer Partners, best known recent as the operator and developer of the controversial Dakota Access oil pipeline.

The settlement was reached Tuesday night, but it still must get approval from a judge. A hearing on the matter had been scheduled for Tuesday, but it was postposed so the Judge Bernard Labuskes Jr. could review the deal, the Post-Gazette wrote.

Sunoco agreed in the settlement to review 47 sites close to drinking water supplies, important natural features and other utilities, and to submit reports to the state about each review, along with the steps crews plan to take to reduce risk.

The company also would have to notify nearby landowners before drilling and offer to test their water supplies.

Energy East 2 is planned to carry natural gas liquids from drilling areas in the western part of Pennsylvania to the Philadelphia area for refining or further transportation.