WEST WHITELAND (March 8, 2018) – State Senator Andy Dinniman today visited the site of multiple sinkholes apparently related to Mariner East II pipeline drilling on Lisa Drive in West Whiteland.
“It seems like Sunoco doesn’t want the public to see or to know what is going on here and just how badly its ongoing failures have potentially jeopardized the health, safety, and well-being of this community,” Dinniman said. “Well, they can’t hide it anymore. Enough is enough. I have a responsibility to protect my constituents and that includes ensuring that we have complete and accurate information regarding what went wrong on this project.”
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) yesterday suspended operations on Sunoco’s Mariner East I pipeline due to ongoing safety and geologic stability concerns related to problems stemming from the drilling of Mariner East II.
That order came just days after officials from the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and the PUC visited the Lisa Drive site where multiple sinkholes have developed on a residential block apparently due to pipeline construction.
Dinniman said that while the order marks an important step in the right direction, residents have ongoing concerns regarding the future of Mariner East II construction, as well as Sunoco’s plans to add a third pipeline, which it’s calling “Mariner 2X.”
“Given how badly this project appears to have been botched here in Chester County and how poorly local residents report being treated by Sunoco, Mariner East II construction should be stopped,” Dinniman said. “If we’re having these very serious, very real, and potentially life-threatening problems here in a geologically-problematic, high-density, and high-consequence area, then I have significant questions and concerns about Sunoco’s operations on this project throughout the Commonwealth.
“I have repeatedly called on the governor and state agencies to halt this project until we can investigate what went wrong, conduct a thorough risk assessment, get straight answers, and ensure public safety. I continue to do so and have been joined by a growing number of constituents and community groups. With every day these calls grow louder,” he added.
Dinniman also said that Sunoco seems to be continuing its abysmal track record by not communicating with the public nor coordinating with the required state and federal agencies.
“Now that Mariner East I is being temporarily shut down, we’re getting mixed messages on just where Mariner East II stands in the West Whiteland area. Is work ongoing? Has it been completed? Is it temporary halted?” Dinniman asked. “Sunoco never notified the PUC or PHMSA when the sinkholes appeared, and they seem to try continue to push around residents.”