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By Boro Friend
#489176
I read in the paper today that Sun just won a couple of rounds in court against pipeline lawsuits.
User avatar
By eriknben10
#489178
It's a done deal. I don't get why people didn't cry about it when it was proposed 3 years ago. I got another letter today saying they are pulling another 48 hour+ weld and set. Hopefully they are out of here by September.
User avatar
By sandbagger2
#489183
eriknben10 wrote:Yes, I'm your neighbor. Yes, my house vibrates as they drill. Yes, I understand the chance of an accident is present though not nearly as dangerous as the idiots that fly thru the stop signs in this town. Not worried at all about the new line. I do believe however that some of the old lines running thru the township have passed their prime.

Do you have any idea what caused the " over 200 leaks" in the old lines or the age and type of pipe used? What leaked out and the damage, if any was done? How many lives were lost due to catastrophic failure? Do you think it is safer to move resources above ground?


PHMSA Pipeline Safety - Flagged Incidents

On the right side, click on PHMSA Pipeline Safety - Flagged Incidents, it will download a zip file. Access file hl2010topresent , gives cause.
User avatar
By eriknben10
#489259
I see they cleaned up Creek Rd. where the mud was oozing from the initial drill hole. Guess the pressure has subsided now that it met up with the hole coming from the gun club. Looking good they will be outta here by Sept. and they can start pumping the liquid gold that keeps billions alive.
User avatar
By sandbagger2
#489330
Chesco homes hit with water problems near Sunoco pipeline construction site
JULY 7, 2017 | 2:15 PM
BY JON HURDLE
LINDSAY LAZARSKI / WHYY


Construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline, seen here in Huntingdon County, may be linked to water problems in some households in Chester County.
Around a dozen Chester County households experienced cloudy water or loss of supply from their private wells this week, forcing some families from their homes near a location where Sunoco Pipeline is conducting horizontal directional drilling about 150 feet below ground for the construction of its Mariner East 2 pipeline.

Five families spent Wednesday night in a local hotel, and three of them spent a second night on Thursday away from their homes because of the water problems, according to the company, which supplied bottled water to affected homes.

Sunoco spokesman Jeff Shields said the company is investigating the cause of the water problems in West Whiteland Township, which were first reported to the Township on Monday. The company is now a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners.

The company has tested 11 private water wells, and was due to test another nine on Friday to determine whether its horizontal directional drilling (HDD) caused the water problems, Shields said. Although test results had not been given to West Whiteland Township officials by late morning, Shields indicated that HDD was the cause.

“I wouldn’t speculate on other possible causes,” Shields told StateImpact. “We will take care of the residents as if it’s our issue, unless evidence shows otherwise.”

Shields said he didn’t know how many households were affected in total because some had “genuine problems” while others were being tested as a precaution. “The families that have reported specific conditions range from cloudy water to a loss of water supply,” he said.

Sunoco suspended the drilling, which had been taking place between West Whiteland and Uwchlan Townships as part of the pipeline construction.

George Turner, a township supervisor, said he expects the tests will show that the water in the affected homes was turned cloudy by bentonite clay, a non-toxic substance used as a lubricant in horizontal directional drilling.

“I don’t think it’s going to be any surprise, they are going to say that the water’s cloudy and it’s got bentonite clay in it.” Turner said. He expects Sunoco to disclose the test results to township officials on Friday afternoon.

Turner said Sunoco has been responsive to the Township’s and residents’ concerns.

“Our concern is to make sure that our residents have a permanent solution to this so it doesn’t recur,” said Turner. “So that’s where we’re working with the Sunoco team, they have their geologists involved.”

Sunoco previously confirmed there were three separate releases of the drilling mud during pipeline construction in May, two of which were into Chester Creek at Brookhaven in Delaware County. Although bentonite clay is non-toxic, if discharged into surface waters in high quantities it can damage aquatic life.

The incident is the latest setback for the $3 billion pipeline project which will carry propane, ethane and butane from the Marcellus Shale of western Pennsylvania to an export terminal at Marcus Hook near Philadelphia.

Sunoco, which began construction in February, is fighting eminent domain cases with some landowners who have refused its offers of compensation for building on their property. Some communities at the eastern end of the route are opposing the pipeline, saying it could cause catastrophic explosions if there was a leak of the natural gas liquids.

The company insists it has high safety standards, and is tightly regulated at state and federal levels, but those assurances were called into question in April when the existing Mariner East 1 line leaked (20 barrels of propane) near Morgantown, an incident that the company did not publicly disclose for almost three weeks.

Shields said the company has notified the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and the townships, and “will do everything in our power to minimize the impacts to homeowners.”

Virginia Cain, Community Relations Coordinator for the DEP’s southeast region, said officials are looking into the situation.

“DEP is aware of possible impacts and is investigating. Further questions should be directed to the operator,” Cain said.

A document filed by Sunoco in a permit application to DEP last year indicates the company knew that HDD has the potential to affect water supplies.

“The primary potential impact to groundwater is the migration of drilling fluid away from the HDD drill path,” according to the document, which was obtained by Eric Friedman, a pipeline safety campaigner who is part of the Middletown Coalition for Community Safety, in neighboring Delaware County. “When this happens, circulation can be lost or reduced and drilling fluid could enter the groundwater table that could be used by private groundwater wells.”

Friedman said the document was posted for a few days on the DEP’s web site in mid-2016, and then taken down.

The DEP’s Cain told Friedman in December last year that the Sunoco statement was removed because it contained “sensitive” information.

“The applicant has since highlighted and the reviewers have found that sections of the applications contained sensitive species and water supply information which has been taken down from the webpage,” Cain wrote in an email to Friedman on Dec. 23, 2016.

None of the impacted residents could be reached for comment.

Rebecca Britton, a member of the Uwchlan Safety Coalition, in neighboring Uwchlan Township, says this latest incident raises questions about the safety of the pipeline construction. Sunoco has the worst spill record for all pipeline operators nationwide, according to a Reuters report. The company is planning to build a third pipeline once the Mariner East 2 is in place.

“What else are we opening ourselves up to?” said Britton. “We have two years of this in front of us? When you talk about water quality, that’s basic safety in your own home.”

Susan Phillips contributed to this report.
User avatar
By sandbagger2
#489350
Local lawmakers call on Sunoco to halt pipeline drilling until aquifer issues resolved
By Fran Maye, Daily Local News
POSTED: 07/08/17, 8:43 AM EDT | UPDATED: 39 SECS AGO 0 COMMENTS


West Whiteland>>Two local lawmakers are calling on Sunoco Logistics to halt construction of the Mariner II pipeline project in Chester County, and one has introduced legislation for creation of a board to oversee communication of pipeline activity to residents.

This comes on following reports of water quality issues close to the pipeline route. Local officials on Friday discovered that recent construction activity may have impacted the quality and safety of drinking water for homeowners on Valley View Drive, Exton that rely on water from their wells.

Two weeks ago, during the directional drilling process for this project, Sunoco or contractors working under Sunoco’s direction, damaged an underground water supply that fed the local aquifer, said state Sen. Andrew Dinniman (D-19th Dist.) Following this incident, many of those residing on Valley View Drive noticed significant sediment and discoloration of their normally pristine drinking water. Soon after, some homeowners discovered that their wells had run dry. Upon investigation by municipal officials, and only after residents reached out to the company, was it discovered that the damage caused by Sunoco was responsible for both issues. Drilling has been suspended temporarily by Sunoco.

“I am angered that the company never notified myself or any of my neighbors that a breach occurred two-weeks ago,” said David Mano a West Whiteland homeowner. “And why didn’t they know the geology of the area before they started drilling to avoid such a breach in the first place.”

Dinniman has reached out to West Whiteland Township and the state Department of Environmental Protection officials to determine what they know about the situation, when they were told, and what actions they plan to take.

“I question the delay and I am concerned regarding this significant lack of communication on behalf of Sunoco. Other companies either take it upon themselves or are regulated to immediately notify impacted citizens, public officials, and responsible governing bodies in the event of an incident. I am deeply concerned that Sunoco’s delay may have placed members of the public at risk,” Dinniman said.

Some of the residents living on Valley View Drive have been given drinking water, replacement water pumps, and provided with the opportunity of rooms in nearby hotels. On Friday, Sunoco collected samples of well water for contamination testing, with results expected in approximately one week.

Mano said he was informed by an official from Percheron, a company representing Sunoco Pipleline L.P., that Sunoco plans to resume drilling.

“This doesn’t make any sense,” Mano said. “How can they start drilling again when they don’t know the scope of the problem, to what extent the aquifer may have been contaminated, and the long-term potential impact on the aquifer and other wells. They don’t even know the results of the testing yet.”

Dinniman also questioned the decision to resume drilling. “I have asked Sunoco directly to cease drilling in Chester County until a comprehensive assessment of the damage to this aquifer can occur, a plan is put in place to restore safe water service to the affected residents, and steps are taken to ensure that a situation like this does not occur again.”

“I was horrified to hear that this project may be impacting Chester County well water,” Dinniman continued. “We listened to Sunoco assure residents at numerous public meetings that impacts from this project would be minimal. The loss of safe drinking water hardly seems like a minimal impact. My constituents who live near this construction zone are deeply concerned that the continued disturbance will result in irreparable damage to their source of drinking water. To advance construction before determining the degree of damage is simply wrong.”

Meanwhile, state Rep. Carolyn Comitta (D-156th Dist.) said she will be introducing legislation to create a state board that would be responsible for implementing and coordinating the timely communication of information regarding pipeline activities in Pennsylvania. The proposed bill has 25 bi-partisan co-sponsors.

“I believe it is important that these residents be provided with proper communication both before and during construction regarding pipeline-related roadway infrastructure and traffic congestion, noise, environmental impacts, health and safety issues and, perhaps most importantly, evacuation plans in case of a pipeline explosion or other emergency,” Comitta said.

The board created under this legislation would be comprised of appointed representatives of the Public Utility Commission, Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Health, Department of Transportation, Emergency Management Agency, legislative leaders, governor’s office, and natural gas industry.

“We need to pay close attention to this and find out how it happened and how to prevent future contamination,” Comitta said. “We need to make sure people’s drinking water is protected. And we need to make sure people have access to timely, accurate information related to all facets of the pipeline project. It is so important for people to have information about what can happen during construction, what the impacts are and how it is remedied. “
User avatar
By sandbagger2
#489400
Mariner East: Separating Truth from Myth
July 3, 2017
For Immediate Release
Middletown Coalition for Community Safety
Media contact: middletowncoalition@gmail.com – (484) 441-3308


Sunoco’s “Mariner East” Flyer Increases Community Concerns: Public Safety Risks, Impaired Property Values, Private Property Rights at Forefront of Debate

MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania, July 3, 2017—Just before this holiday weekend, Sunoco distributed a flyer in Chester and Delaware county purporting to help residents separate “fact” from “fiction.” The Middletown Coalition for Community Safety (MCCS) believes the flyer may have been prepared by Sunoco’s public relations firm The Bravo Group, whose stated “goal” is to help Sunoco “neutralize opposition.” MCCS believes it is important to correct the misinformation distributed by Sunoco in this flyer.

Sunoco Myth #1: “The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and other government agencies strictly regulate the manufacturing, construction and operation of Sunoco Pipeline projects.”

The facts:
Neither the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration nor the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has authority over the siting (or routing) of Sunoco’s proposed hazardous highly volatile liquids export pipeline. Sunoco has chosen a route to maximize its convenience and profit in disregard for public safety. The National Transportation Board (NTSB) issued a report in 2015 after a series of pipeline accidents that “resulted in 8 fatalities, over 50 injuries, and 41 homes destroyed with many more damaged.” NTSB found “The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)’s resources on integrity management inspections for state inspectors, including existing inspection protocol guidance, mentorship opportunities, and the availability of PHMSA’s inspection subject matter experts for consultation, are inadequate.” Even after recent staff increases, for each PHMSA inspector there is a length of pipeline that would stretch from Seattle to Miami. The federal regulator therefore relies almost entirely on self-supervision and self-reporting by the industry. The result of this hands-off regulatory scheme: 11,400 pipeline leaks in last 20 years, which collectively caused 324 fatalities, an additional 1,333 injuries, and over $7 billion in direct property damage.

The truth: no agency approved the routing of Sunoco’s hazardous, highly volatile liquids transmission pipelines just steps from homes, elementary schools, senior living facilities and businesses in densely populated areas. PHMSA’s regulatory abilities are inadequate, as demonstrated by the accelerating rate of large hazardous liquids pipeline accidents per mile of pipeline.

Sunoco Myth #2: “Skilled local tradesmen, such as Philadelphia-based Steamfitters Local 420, are equipped with the most advanced training, safety measures and operation standards to ensure safe and environmentally responsible construction.”

The facts:
The Middletown Coalition for Community Safety counts among its ranks many current and former union members. This 4th of July weekend, when we celebrate our “unalienable” rights to life, liberty, enjoyment of private property and freedom from oppression, we are pleased that our brothers and sisters are fully employed.
Visit any Sunoco job site in Pennsylvania and you will see mostly out-of-state vehicles, often parked to conceal their license plates. Sunoco has declined repeatedly, in writing, to answer any questions about its supposed jobs figures.
In April 2016 Sunoco was issued a federal Notice of Probable Violation, Proposed Civil Penalty, and Proposed Compliance Order pertaining to its pipeline construction practices. The Notice alleges that Sunoco used unqualified welders and unqualified welding procedures to perform approximately 3,000 welds on a new hazardous liquids pipeline. “When this errant practice was discovered, Sunoco attempted to back-qualify welders…several of the welders, who were retested, failed to qualify [even] with multiple retesting attempts. These same failed welders had each participated in the welding of numerous production welds prior to attempting requalification….Sunoco’s attempt to “back-qualify” welders…demonstrates that the Operator recognized the deficiency but did not take appropriate measures to achieve compliance.” Sunoco put this pipeline into service despite the suspect welds. It failed in September 2016, spilling 361,000 gallons of hazardous liquids (as reported by Sunoco).
In 2016 Sunoco reported leaking more hazardous liquids from its pipelines than in the previous six years (2010-2015) combined.

The truth: Mariner East creates only a handful of permanent jobs for Pennsylvanians. At the same time, it imposes enormous, undisputed and permanent safety risks upon the vulnerable, dense, hardworking residents of Pennsylvania. Schoolchildren and seniors are among those most at risk, and neither Sunoco nor any government agency has provided a credible plan to provide for their safety.

Sunoco Myth #3: “Sunoco Pipeline is using advanced construction methods, such as horizontal directional drilling, to minimize environmental impacts.”

The facts: Sunoco’s proposed horizontal directional drilling (HDD) itself creates risks to public and private water supplies.

Sunoco’s own permit applications to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection addressed these risks. The “RISKS TO WATER SUPPLIES” documents were taken down from the DEP web site shortly after they were posted, but MCCS has made them available at www.middletowncoalition.org.
In August 2016, the Pennsylvania American Water Company (PAWC) wrote to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection: “…the proposed route of the Sunoco Pipeline has the potential to endanger PAWC’s public water supplies that are vital to the provision of public water service to over 12,000 Pennsylvanians…”
In May 2017, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency issued to Energy Transfer Partners (the parent company of Sunoco Logistics) an administrative order in lieu of enforcement, alleging six separate releases of HDD drilling fluid. The largest of these leaks in Ohio resulted in the release of approximately 2 million gallons of drilling fluid, coating 6.5 acres of wetlands. This drilling fluid was discovered to contain “petroleum hydrocarbon constituents, commonly found in diesel fuel.” Subsequently, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission took the unusual step of ordering Energy Transfer to halt HDD operations, noting that “this matter may also be referred to the Commission’s Office of Enforcement for further investigation.”
Upon starting HDD operations in southeast Pennsylvania, Sunoco leaked drilling fluid into Chester Creek in Brookhaven. This material is “an industrial waste” according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, whose release into wetlands and waterways of our Commonwealth is prohibited by law. MCCS has posted documents and imagery of this event. On May 9, 2017 the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection issued Sunoco a Notice of Violation in this matter. This leak in Brookhaven is just the latest in a string of violation notices issued to Sunoco for leaks of drilling fluid in Pennsylvania.

The truth: Sunoco’s proposed construction methods pose serious risks to wetlands, waterways, and public and private water supplies across Pennsylvania.

Sunoco Myth #4: “Mariner East 2 will use over 75,000 tons of domestic steel coated with a specialty epoxy to prevent corrosion and other damage. Sunoco Pipeline does not use PVC, copper or aluminum.”

The facts: Pictures taken at Sunoco construction sites show the presence of many pipeline sections stamped “Made in Greece.”

And no pipeline operator (not even Sunoco) would propose to construct a high pressure, highly volatile liquids pipeline out of a material like copper or PVC.

The truth: federal safety regulations on “Transportation of Hazardous Liquids by Pipeline” require new pipelines to be made of steel. The various countries from which Sunoco procures this steel are immaterial in light of the public safety risks of this proposed export pipeline, especially given Sunoco’s worst-in-the-industry record of reported pipeline leaks.

Sunoco Myth #5: “In 2015 and 2017 a Chester County township commissioned an independent study conducted by a nationally respected expert who found Sunoco Pipeline meets or exceeds federal safety requirements at every level.”

The facts: Sunoco has repeatedly cited these reports in misleading ways. Let’s take a closer look.

In other reports performed by this expert, Richard Kuprewicz, he used publicly available information. For the reports referred to by Sunoco, Kuprewicz signed a nondisclosure agreement that ensured he would be unable to publicly discuss information received from Sunoco. In addition, under the terms of his agreement, Kuprewicz was required to allow Sunoco to comment on both reports before they were provided to the client, West Goshen Township. The actual “independence” of these reports is questionable.

The applicability of these reports (not “studies”) was limited “to the segments of the Mariner East project that could affect the township.” (Only one mile of pipeline).

Kuprewicz notes in his 2015 report that the “fluids [proposed to be transported] are pressurized to remain liquid at operating conditions within the pipeline, but upon release would generate heavier than air hydrocarbon vapor clouds that can impact large areas.” Indeed, past accidents involving these materials have resulted in damage and fatalities over areas measured in square miles.

Kuprewicz reports that “Federal safety regulations provide limited levels of safety assurance.” Sunoco’s reports of 290 hazardous liquids leaks just since 2006 do not provide much safety assurance either, especially given that many of them have occurred right here in Pennsylvania.

Kuprewicz discusses inline tools and hydrostatic testing. Despite performing such testing, Sunoco has reported three leaks on Mariner East one in the space of less than one year.

Kuprewicz discusses Sunoco’s leak detection system in vague terms. What we know about this technology is that it failed to detect either the most recent leak on Mariner East 1, which was reported by a Morgantown landowner on April 1, 2017, or a leak in Edgmont Township which was discovered by a landowner in April 2015.

Kuprewicz notes that the efforts Sunoco is making cannot guarantee against a release. Elsewhere, Kuprewicz wrote “Assuming that rupture failure will never occur is most unwise, if not reckless...Emergency Response Planning [ERP] should never be utilized to credit against the risks associated with pipeline rupture events. No matter how effective the ERP, response cannot be fast enough to save those most at risk in the extreme heat flux zones associated with the most likely early ignition gas release scenarios.” Commentary on the Risk Analysis for the Proposed Emera Brunswick Pipeline through Saint John, NB by Richard B. Kuprewicz, President, Accufacts Inc. (Emphasis added). Because it is unwise or reckless to disregard the possibility of a rupture, a report intended to inform policymakers of the degree of risk should contain some analysis of potential consequences and their probability. Kuprewicz’s reports are devoid of this kind of information.

In the end, both Kuprewicz reports are full of generalities and empty of specifics. They leave unanswered every important question, such as:

A one-mile segment of 20” pipeline filled with ethane contains 147 tons of material; for propane, the corresponding figure is more than 190 tons. The explosive energy in a six mile segment full of liquefied ethane is equivalent to 10,000 tons of TNT. What are the consequences of a rupture in a densely populated area?
Given Sunoco’s worst-in-the-industry record of reported pipeline leaks (out of 2,000 operators), what is the probability of one occurring on a given segment?

Kuprewicz believes that emergency response planning doesn’t mitigate risk for those within the “extreme heat flux zone.” So what credible measures can the public take to protect itself in the event of a leak?

The truth: The Kuprewicz reports commissioned by West Goshen Township contain no information regarding the public safety risks of Sunoco’s proposed hazardous, highly volatile liquid pipelines. Sunoco’s long record of federal enforcement action shows that it frequently does not comply with all federal safety rules. 2016 was a record year enforcement action against Sunoco; the company was issued a greater amount of civil fines from the federal regulator in 2016 than in the previous ten years (2006-2015) combined.

Sunoco Myth #6: “Sunoco Pipeline’s Integrity Management Program uses smart inspection technology and on-site inspections to assess every inch of pipeline it operates to ensure safe and efficient operation.”

The facts: On April 1, 2017 a Morgantown landowner discovered combustible gas hissing out of the ground in his front yard. Just 29 inches below the surface, “Mariner East 1” had structurally failed due to corrosion. The segment of failed pipeline had been inspected by two inline tool runs plus a hydrostatic test in the four years prior to the leak. All of these tests failed to detect the defect which caused the leak. In addition, Sunoco’s leak detection system failed to detect that the leak was occurring. We are still waiting for Sunoco to provide information on how long the pipeline was leaking for before the landowner reported it; how much combustible vapor was released; and how long it took Sunoco to stop the venting of material. It’s also possible that the leak rate was accelerating with time.

The truth: A Sunoco maintenance supervisor testified under oath at a hearing in West Cornwall Township on June 13, 2017. When asked whether he could guarantee there would not be a leak on a Sunoco pipeline, he responded “I can’t guarantee that.” The supervisor then described the recent tests on the failed Morgantown segment. When asked why none of these tests detected the defect that caused the leak, the Sunoco supervisor responded:

“The test is good the day that you do it. The next day, based on operations, anything could change.” “Smart inspection technology” that is incapable of ensuring safe operation beyond the day it is used doesn’t seem that smart to us. MCCS will make the videotape of this testimony available on its web site.
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