Energy News Today

Is new work on Mariner East `restoration’ or construction?

But Edgmont resident Lora Snyder said she watched this past week as a section of pipe was removed and replaced by another — to her, that’s construction.

“It’s an ongoing lack of transparency to the community and their own investors,” she said. “It’s not restoration.”

Snyder has documented pipeline construction in Delaware and Chester counties with photos and drone footage. She said the stretch in question had issues from the time the pipe was laid, when drilling in 2017 led to “frac-outs.” Those occur when attempts to drill into the bedrock hit more porous geology instead and subsurface water and fluid used in the process rise to the surface and cause flooding.

An aerial view of the Delaware County site where residents say construction continues. Energy Transfer says the work is remediation or restoration. (Courtesy of Lora Snyder)

The pipeline project was delayed by multiple construction mishaps across its entire length, including this section. Energy Transfer then created a workaround to ship the natural gas liquids to Marcus Hook by repurposing decades-old gasoline pipelines. Mariner East opponents like Snyder dubbed this the “Frankenpipe.” She worries about safety issues, especially with regard to the older pipe.

“[Energy Transfer] is saying, ‘We’re staying with the Frankenpipe and no one will know.”

Sunoco began construction on the pipeline five years ago, and the project was at least two years behind the initial planned completion date. Sunoco was bought by Texas-based Energy Transfer, which is now facing 48 criminal charges over the construction of the pipeline. The bulk of the product that flows through it, including ethane, propane and butane, will be shipped to Scotland to make plastics.

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2022-03-06 02:00:00

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