UPDATE: A judge ordered a halt to drilling operations.
Construction on a controversial pipeline stretching through Delaware County and Chester County has been temporarily halted in West Goshen Township.
A judge granted an injunction stopping all construction of Sunoco's Mariner East 2 natural gas liquids pipeline in West Goshen until the matter can be brought for a full trial before the Public Utility Commission, according to a spokesperson with the Eastern Pennsylvania Food & Water Watch.
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Earlier this month, West Goshen Township filed a petition for the injunction against Sunoco Pipeline LP, accusing the company of violating a settlement agreement in the construction of the pipeline. A spokesperson for West Goshen claimed Sunoco began construction to install and operate the pipeline near Greenhill and Boot roads without notifying West Goshen Township officials.
"We look forward to demonstrating to the Public Utility Commission how we have complied at all times with our agreement with West Goshen Township," a spokesperson for Sunoco wrote to NBC10 Monday in response to the injunction.
The $2.5 billion, 350-mile 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 controversy. In addition to the injunction from West Goshen Township, residents in West Whiteland and Uwchlan townships claimed the pipeline was contaminating their water leading to a suspension in the pipeline’s construction which later resumed.
A leak at the Delaware County site of the pipeline also caused thousands of gallons of drilling mud to flow into the Chester Creek in Middletown Township earlier this month.
Pennsylvania Senator Chris Quinn, who represents Delaware County, called for a halt on the pipeline's construction until more safeguards are put in place.
"What is occurring here is unacceptable," Quinn said. "I am asking the governor and DEP secretary to come down here with Sunoco contractors and tour the incident sites where these breeches have occurred."