Sunoco: Mariner East 2 pipeline on track for June completion |

Sunoco: Mariner East 2 pipeline on track for June completion

Stephen Huba
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Crews work to clean up bentonite clay slurry from Sunoco's Mariner East 2 pipeline in Loyalhanna Township in July 2017.
Sunoco Logistics
This map shows the approximate route and facility locations for Sunoco Logistics' Mariner East 1 and 2 pipeline projects, which will ship natural gas liquids from the Marcellus and Utica shale areas to the company’s Marcus Hook complex near Philadelphia.

The controversial Mariner East 2 pipeline is scheduled to enter service by the end of June, despite regulatory and legal delays, Natural Gas Intelligence reported.

The 350-mile pipeline will span Pennsylvania, including Westmoreland County, to carry pressurized propane, ethane and butane from the Marcellus Shale to the Sunoco refinery in Marcus Hook near Philadelphia.

Construction of the 16- and 20-inch lines began in February 2017 but has been held up by legal challenges originating mostly in the eastern part of the state. Lawsuits accused Energy Transfer Partners LP of environmental violations stemming from numerous spills of drilling lubricant.

Sunoco described the spills as “inadvertent returns” of bentonite, a nontoxic mix of clay and water that is used as a drill-bit lubricant during horizontal directional drilling.

In January , the state Department of Environmental Protection suspended all of Sunoco’s drilling permits after discovering that the company had used unauthorized drilling methods in seven counties. Horizontal drilling is used to lay pipe under roads, waterways, wetlands, wildlife habitats and other sensitive areas.

Sunoco reached a settlement with the state Department of Environmental Protection in early February in which it agreed to pay a $12.6 million fine, in exchange for permission to continue with construction.

In a recent quarterly earnings call, company officials said that 94 percent of the mainline construction is complete and 83 percent of the horizontal directional drills are complete, according to Natural Gas Intelligence.

In Westmoreland County, the pipeline traverses Sewickley, Hempfield, Penn, Salem, Loyalhanna and Derry townships.

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter @shuba_trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.