Members of a Chester County township are trying to stop construction of a pipeline that some residents in nearby towns claimed contaminated their water.
West Goshen Township filed a petition for an injunction against Sunoco Pipeline LP, accusing the company of violating a settlement agreement regarding the Mariner East 2 natural gas liquids pipeline.
The Mariner East 2 pipeline will carry 275,000 barrels of liquid natural gas a day from Ohio and western Pennsylvania to a processing facility in Marcus Hook, Delaware County. The 20-inch pipe and a second 16-inch line cuts through 23.6 miles of land in Chester County and 11.4 miles in Delaware County, county planners say. The pipeline has been the subject of ire and protest across the state.
A spokesperson for West Goshen wrote the township is seeking to halt and prevent Sunoco's further construction of the pipeline at a location that was not approved or agreed upon.
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"In an effort to protect its residents and their properties, West Goshen Township in 2015 reached an agreement with Sunoco Logistics regarding the installation of remotely operated valves at two separate Mariner East 1 pipeline markers," the spokesperson wrote. "Sunoco Logistics also agreed that any additional aboveground facilities related to the Mariner East 2 project would be located on an existing site where other aboveground facilities were located with one exception, and if unable to do so, Sunoco Logistics was required to notify the township."
The spokesperson claimed Sunoco began construction to install and operate the pipeline near Greenhill and Boot roads without notifying West Goshen Township officials.
"Construction started in blatant violation of the settlement agreement, without the required notice, erosion barriers, other site construction and public safety protocols, and engineering justification," the spokesperson wrote. "As recently as July 6, Sunoco’s construction vehicles were parked in the township fire department’s parking lot, preventing firefighters from parking at the station in the event of an emergency and blocking emergency response vehicles from exiting the property. In addition, the construction began before a hearing scheduled for July 18 could be held at the PUC to address construction-related matters."
A spokesperson for Sunoco Pipeline told NBC10 the company is in compliance with the settlement agreement but did not have any comment beyond that.
Sunoco Pipeline LP resumed construction of the gas line Saturday after it was suspended due to water contamination concerns.
Twelve residents in West Whiteland and Uwchlan townships reported problems with water coming from private wells starting last week, a Sunoco Pipeline spokesman said Friday. Some had water service interrupted while others said water from the tap was murky. Valerie Ross, one of the residents, told NBC10 she's not only concerned about the construction but also what could come down the line.
"My biggest fear is that there will be a leak and it will be undetected for a certain amount of time and then it will be too late for the whole community," Ross said.
The energy company offered bottled water and hotel rooms to the families affected, the official said. They also tested 20 private wells for contamination and are waiting for full results.
Crews were conducting horizontal drilling last week when the water issue began, Sunoco said.