Regulator, company at odds over erosion, hillside slips
A pipeline company fresh off a record $30 million fine for a 2018 explosion that leveled a Beaver County home has racked up hundreds of construction violations for hillside slips, soil erosion and stream pollution at construction sites for the same pipeline.
According to data from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, ETC Northeast Pipeline LLC, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer, has had 680 violations along the route of the 40-mile Revolution pipeline in Beaver County since the beginning of the year. The violations are the subject of settlement talks between the agency and the company.
Since January, DEP inspectors observed slopes along the pipeline route slip, erosion and sedimentation barriers fail, and sediment-laden water getting into streams, all violations of the company’s clean water permits.
“There have been a number of slides and stability issues along the route of the Revolution Pipeline,” DEP spokeswoman Lauren Fraley said in an email.
Over the course of four months, DEP inspectors documented more than two dozen slope failures and dozens of instances of soil erosion into nearby streams.
The DEP is not releasing documents and correspondence related to the violations because they “would be part of settlement discussions and would be considered confidential,” Fraley said.
The 24-inch pipeline would carry natural gas between two processing stations in Washington and Butler counties in Western Pennsylvania.
In January, the DEP announced a settlement with Dallas-based Energy Transfer that included a record $30 million fine for violations related to a September 2018 explosion.
The Department of Justice has opened a criminal investigation into the blast; the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office is also investigating.
The explosion occurred less than a week after the pipeline was put into service. After a landslide near Ivy Lane in Center Township, a section of the line ruptured. The blast forced evacuations and burned one house to the ground.
The January settlement noted widespread problems with the company’s construction of the pipeline, including failure to stabilize more than a dozen hillsides, hundreds of cases where sediment from its construction spilled into rivers and streams,…
Read More: The Revolution pipeline explosion resulted in a huge fine for Energy Transfer. Now,