Energy Transfer Found Guilty of Criminal Charges Related to Construction of Mariner East 2 Pipeline, Revolution Pipeline in Pennsylvania – PA Office of Attorney General
Advocacy includes free water supply testing for homeowners and remedial action, company to pay an additional $10 million to improve water health and safety
HARRISBURG, PA – Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced that Sunoco Pipeline LP and ETC Northeast Pipeline LLC (ETC), two subsidiaries of Energy Transfer, LP (Energy Transfer), have been convicted of criminal charges related to their conduct during the construction of two major Pennsylvania pipelines. Mariner East 2 Pipeline, which crosses 17 counties in southern Pennsylvania, and Revolution Pipeline, a 42.5-mile pipeline that begins in Butler County and passes through Beaver and Allegheny counties, and connects to a gas processing plant in Washington County.
As part of the agreement, Energy Transfer will pay for independent assessments of potential water quality impacts for owners of the Mariner East 2 pipeline construction and offer approved mechanisms to restore or replace private water supplies. impacted. An independent professional geologist will review the water tests and advise on water quality and its impact. Energy Transfer will also provide $10 million for projects that improve the health and safety of water sources along pipeline routes.
A fact sheet detailing the plea agreement is available HERE.
“We have a constitutional right in Pennsylvania to clean air and clean water,” said AG Shapiro. “It’s a right that was enshrined in our state constitution at a time when the people of Pennsylvania learned a difficult lesson: the health of our children and our economic future depended on protecting our environment from reckless profiteering. and uncontrolled commercial interests.Today, we honor our oath to our constitution and hold Energy Transfer accountable for its crimes against our natural resources.
Following an investigation by the Environmental Crimes Section of the Attorney General’s Office and recommendations from the state’s 45th Investigative Grand Jury, Sunoco Pipeline LP was charged with 48 counts of environmental crimes for its conduct during the construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline.
The grand jury heard that at numerous locations during the construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline, Sunoco Pipeline LP repeatedly released thousands of gallons of drilling fluid underground, which at times resurfaced in fields, backyards, streams, lakes and wetlands. The company then failed to report the fluid losses to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on several occasions, despite the legal requirement to do so.
The Grand Jury found there were multiple drilling locations where drilling fluid contained unapproved additives that were entering Commonwealth waters, potentially impacting the drinking water of Pennsylvanians who rely on wells. ‘water. In August 2020, early estimates indicated that 8,100 gallons of liquid spilled into Marsh Creek Lake in Chester County following an unintentional release.
“It took a long time to come. My husband and I suffered from the contamination of our water from the construction of this pipeline. Water is the most important thing for an owner and when they started drilling our only request was to promise that we would continue to have clean water. Five years later, we still have a water buffalo on our property – forcing us to carry buckets of water around our house, to our gardens and to our horses – several times a day. As a retired couple, we never expected to spend our time and energy hauling water because a company destroyed our supply. Our hope is that this advocacy will finally bring us the permanent solution to our water problems. If this appeal could restore our clean water supply, it would be a step in the right direction – it’s all we’ve ever wanted,” said owner Alice Mioduski of New Alexandria, PA.
In the case of Revolution Pipeline, jurors for the 46th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury examined evidence that ETC Northeast Pipeline LLC (ETC), a subsidiary of Energy Transfer, repeatedly ignored environmental protocols and custom plans created for minimize erosion and the possibility of a landslide on the site, which they restored to its pre-construction appearance.
Grand jurors heard that the lack of erosion control devices contributed to two landslides, one of which contributed to a section of the pipeline that had not been sufficiently embedded in the bedrock of the site to separate from the rest of the line. Gas escaped from the pipeline, causing a devastating explosion. Residents had to evacuate their homes as their barns, vehicles and homes burned, and more than two acres of mature trees burned to ash heaps. ETC has been charged with nine counts of environmental crimes related to their conduct during the construction of the Revolution Pipeline.
“Today’s plea agreement by Energy Transfer is a huge victory for the people of Delaware County. I want to thank Attorney General Shapiro for leading this joint investigation and his tireless efforts to bring this powerful corporation to justice for the damage it has caused to our communities, our residents and our environment,” said Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer.
The Delaware County District Attorney’s Office was the first to refer the Mariner East 2 pipeline investigation to the Attorney General’s Office and assigned a prosecutor from its Environmental Crimes Unit to work on the case.
Sunoco Pipeline LP did not contest 14 counts of Clean Streams violations for its criminal conduct related to the construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline. ETC Northeast Pipeline LLC did not contest 9 counts of Clean Streams violations. Streams for his criminal conduct related to the construction of the Revolution Pipeline.
These cases are being prosecuted by Chief Deputy Attorney General Rebecca Franz and Senior Deputy Attorney General Courtney Butterfield. Under Attorney General Shapiro’s direction, the Environmental Crimes Section of the Attorney General’s Office has indicted more than 20 companies and 29 individuals.
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