Beaver pipeline explosion cited in DEP move to halt permits
The state Department of Environmental Protection says it is not approving any more clean water permits for Energy Transfer LP until the Texas-based company corrects problems related to a Beaver County pipeline explosion in September .
DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell said Friday that Energy Transfer, operator of the Revolution pipeline in Beaver County, has failed to comply with an October order that it stabilize disturbed areas and prevent further erosion from the construction area.
The methane gas explosion destroyed one home in Beaver County last September.
“In October, DEP cited ETC (Northeast Pipeline LLC) for sediment-laden discharges into waterways, improperly maintained erosion controls and failure to stabilize disturbed areas,” McDonnell said. “Disappointingly, many of these issues persist.”
Multiple inspections by DEP staff, most recently in January, found that Energy Transfer had not fulfilled the terms of the order and was not progressing toward compliance, the DEP said.
The DEP’s decision to withhold permits applies to ETC, Sunoco Pipeline LP, Energy Transfer and its subsidiaries.
The permit hold will not apply to any approvals needed for Energy Transfer to comply with the order, nor will it apply to mitigation and environmental restoration work along the Mariner East 2 pipeline, DEP spokesman Neil Shader said.
The hold will, however, affect the in-service date for the Revolution pipeline, a 24-inch natural gas gathering line that will service the Rover pipeline and Mariner East 2.
Energy Transfer’s pipelines in Pennsylvania include the Mariner East 1, 2 and 2X across southern Pennsylvania. The projects have drawn millions in fines and several temporary shutdown orders from state agencies.
Although Mariner East 2 was put into service in December , additional permit approvals are needed for pipeline infrastructure work, the DEP said. There are 27 approvals under review by DEP for Mariner East 2.
Energy Transfer spokeswoman Lisa Dillinger said the company is “committed to bringing this project into full compliance” with all environmental permits.
“This action does not affect the operation of any of our in-service pipelines or any areas of construction where permits have already been issued,” Dillinger said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, email@example.com or via Twitter @shuba_trib.