Sunoco Pipeline LP to Improve Public Safety During Construction of Mariner East Pipeline

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) – After a vote by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissions (PUC) on Nov. 18, Sunoco Pipeline LP must take action to protect public safety in the construction and operation of the Mariner East pipelines.

In a case involving complaints against Sunoco Pipeline LP by nearly a dozen individuals and organizations in Southeastern Pennsylvania, the commission voted 3-0 to approve an initial ruling by an administrative law judge of the PUC.

Steps Sunoco Pipeline needs to take to improve public safety during the construction and operation of the Mariner East pipeline include:

  • A comprehensive review of Sunoco’s public awareness program.
  • A written plan to improve Sunoco’s public awareness and emergency notification plans.
  • Improvements to public safety awareness material for residents and emergency responders in Delaware and Chester counties.
  • Supplements to Sunoco’s emergency contact list for Delaware and Chester counties, including municipal police departments and school district representatives.
  • Advance notification by Sunoco prior to proposed excavation on the pipeline system in all municipalities in Delaware and Chester counties.
  • Planning by Sunoco of public awareness / education meetings to be held in West Chester School District, Twin Valley School District, Downingtown School District and Rose Tree Media School District.
  • Arrangements made by Sunoco for meetings with the Chester County Commissioners, Delaware County Commissioners and all municipal supervisors there to establish the emergency contact list information; assist in establishing emergency plans for first responders; inform and educate managers and staff on appropriate and effective disaster prevention and response; assist in the development of an evacuation plan for use by municipalities; create a public awareness and education program; and deal with other related matters included in the PUC Final Order.
  • Establishment of times and dates for follow-up meetings and mutually acceptable periodic meeting schedules between municipalities, counties and Sunoco Pipeline.
  • Additional training by Sunoco regarding emergency notification procedures, as reasonably requested by municipalities and school districts.
  • A “depth of coverage” and “distance to other underground pipes / structures” investigation regarding Mariner East 1 and the 12 inch bypass lines as long as they are intended for the transport of highly volatile liquids.
  • Sunoco is to file a report with the Commission certifying whether Mariner East 1 and the 12-inch bypass pipelines that carry highly volatile liquids in Chester and Delaware counties are buried so that they are below cultivation level and therefore the cover between the top of the pipe and the ground level, the road bed, the river bottom or the underwater natural bottom meets the minimum regulatory requirements and the distance between the outside of the pipeline and the The exterior of other underground utility pipelines / structures is at least twelve inches unless adequate corrosive control action can be demonstrated – accompanied by a corrective action plan for areas requiring remediation – To be filed annually for three years.
  • Share the results of all geophysical test reports, inspection and assessment reports assessing the condition of its pipelines located in East Goshen Township or Middletown Township to township supervisors or their engineering consultants designated at least annually and more frequently during construction, in accordance with any nondisclosure agreement Sunoco Pipeline, LP deems necessary to protect its confidential security information.
  • Subject to a nondisclosure agreement, share with the Chester County Emergency Services Department maps of all transmission lines listing the material moved, the diameter of the pipe, the location of the valves in the main line and maximum operating pressures (MOP) and maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP) and information on the location of any abnormalities warranting pressure reduction in the line and the presence of “immediate” repair conditions, “60 days” or “180 days” for liquid pipelines or “immediate” or “one year” repair conditions for gas pipelines.
  • A civil fine of $ 2,000, payable to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, to be paid within 30 days of the date of entry for the final order in this case.

Other issues raised in the complaints related to the PUC’s current rule regarding the pipeline transport of petroleum products and dangerous liquids in intrastate commerce.

For more information on the safety plans Sunoco Pipeline must comply with, visit the PUC website.

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