Pennsylvania DEP to Sunoco: Your pipelines are showing |

Pennsylvania DEP to Sunoco: Your pipelines are showing

Stephen Huba
Tribune-Review File

The state Department of Environmental Protection is ordering Sunoco Pipeline LP to cover up portions of its pipeline network that have become exposed over time.

The order follows the discovery of an exposed pipeline in June by the state Public Utility Commission, which then requested that Sunoco report any additional exposed pipelines to DEP and PUC.

In total, portions of Sunoco’s pipeline network located throughout the state are exposed at 43 locations, DEP said. Forty-two are used for transporting refined petroleum products, and one is used for transporting natural gas liquids. None are located at ongoing construction areas.

DEP spokeswoman Elizabeth Rementer said the locations cannot be disclosed for security reasons.

Of the 43 locations, 10 do not require a permit because of their location, 14 are undergoing or about to undergo remediation, 10 are awaiting permit approval from DEP and nine still require the submission of permit applications, DEP said.

Energy Transfer spokeswoman Lisa Coleman said DEP’s order “took us by surprise” because “we have been working cooperatively with the DEP to address these areas.” Sunoco Pipeline is a subsidiary of Energy Transfer.

Coleman said it’s not unusual for pipelines to become exposed during the normal course of operations — a point acknowledged by DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell in a statement.

“Pipelines can become exposed over time due to erosion in stream channels or due to their position in the ground, since many were constructed before there were standards on how deep they should be buried,” McDonnell said. “These identified pipelines are now exposed to weather, flooding and vandalism, which can result in a failure of the pipeline and subsequent impacts to our waterways, so it’s critical that Sunoco addresses them immediately.”

According to the order, Sunoco has 30 days to apply for all needed permits on remaining sites. Once permits and approvals are obtained, Sunoco will have 60 days to bury all exposed pipelines to the appropriate amount of cover and then “fully stabilize and restore the site,” DEP said.

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: News | Pennsylvania
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.