For Immediate Release
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) Inspections & Enforcement division filed for an emergency order today to shut down Sunoco’s Mariner East 1 pipeline, after a series of sinkholes were created due to construction of the company’s Mariner East 2 pipeline. The filing calls it “a situation which presents a clear and present danger to life or property.”
Construction of the dangerous gas liquids pipeline created several large sinkholes on one street in Exton, Pennsylvania, forcing the evacuation of several residents. The sinkholes are close to Amtrak’s Keystone Line, presenting additional safety risks.
“Governor Wolf’s inability to protect his constituents from a corporation acting with total negligence and disregard for the safety of Pennsylvania communities is, frankly, embarrassing.” said Food & Water Watch organizer Sam Rubin. “Through their reckless construction of the Mariner East 2, they have created extremely dangerous conditions for the Mariner East 1. An explosion this close to homes would be catastrophic. That Sunoco has created these conditions is clear and final proof that this whole pipeline project needs to be shut down for good. We’re still waiting for Governor Wolf to act.”
Previously, Sunoco had racked up over 100 spills in their pipeline construction, despoiling residents’ drinking water. In this instance, Sunoco continued construction even after the sinkholes started appearing. Sunoco attempted to plug these sinkholes with cement, which may have put undue stress on the currently operational Mariner East 1 pipeline.
Communities in Delaware and Chester Counties have been organizing to stop the project, citing the potential dangers of a leak or explosion along the pipeline route, which sits perilously close to homes, schools and other occupied structures. They have been joined by state politicians who have called on Governor Tom Wolf to do more to ensure public safety.
The 350-mile Mariner East 2 pipeline, a project of the Energy Transfer Partners-owned Sunoco Logistics, will carry volatile gas liquids derived from fracking from Western Pennsylvania to a refinery near Philadelphia. The propane and ethane is bound for Europe to make plastics.