ShareThis Page

State establishes $12.6 million grant program with Mariner East II fines

Paul Peirce
| Tuesday, April 17, 2018, 4:51 p.m.
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.
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.

A new water quality grant program will be funded through the $12.6 million civil penalty related to construction of the Mariner East II pipeline and collected earlier this year from Sunoco.

About 20 southwestern Pennsylvania municipalities and multiple water conservation organizations, educational institutions and non-profit organizations within those communities in Allegheny, Indiana, Washington and Westmoreland counties are eligible to apply for the grants, according to information released Tuesday by the state Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday and Gov. Tom Wolf.

Grants will be awarded for projects that reduce or minimize pollution and protect clean water in the 85 municipalities along the length of the pipeline corridor.

The 45-day grant application round will open May 7 and closes June 21. DEP anticipates announcing the approved projects in late summer.

Examples of eligible projects include:

-- Projects to improve water quality while enhancing community recreational opportunities, such as restoration and enhancement of natural water resource features at community parks and public properties, including lake restoration and wetland creation.

-- Projects to educate future generations about water resource protection, such as demonstration projects that showcase pervious pavement, stormwater runoff management features and systems, bioretention systems, constructed wetland complexes, stormwater runoff collection and reuse projects, stormwater mitigation projects to reduce rate and volume and improve water quality at a school or other public property.

-- Projects to improve and/or protect public drinking water sources and infrastructure, such as repairs to drinking water system source facilities that improve resiliency of the water supply, including water supply dam rehabilitation work and upgrades, and repairs to water treatment infrastructure and water intakes.

-- Municipal separate storm system projects to address rate, volume and/or sediment load, including flood-control project features and retrofits to existing stormwater runoff control infrastructure that reduce rate and volume of stormwater runoff.

-- Projects that result in nitrogen, phosphorus, sediment load reductions within the Chesapeake Bay watershed and impaired waters, including stream buffers, stream restoration projects, wetland restoration or enhancement projects.

-- Projects that result in water quality improvements in DEP Priority Watersheds and Impaired Watersheds within the 85 municipalities.

“It is important that we utilize this funding in an impactful way that will support long-term water quality improvement projects in these communities,” said Wolf.

In February, DEP collected the $12.6 million penalty for permit violations related to the construction of the Mariner East II pipeline project. The penalty, one of the largest collected in a single settlement, was deposited into the Clean Water Fund and the Dams and Encroachments Fund, in accordance with the provisions of the Clean Streams Law and the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act.

The grants will be directed to the municipalities to eliminate pollution and protect the public from unsafe dams, water obstructions and encroachments.

“DEP will continue to both monitor permit compliance and ensure that Sunoco addresses and remedies all pipeline project impacts, which are separate from this penalty. Our goal with the penalty grant is to aid municipal leaders in providing meaningful local environmental benefits,” DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell said.

More information on the grant program is available at:

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2860, or via Twitter @ppeirce_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.

click me