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Pennsylvania Shuts Down Construction On Sunoco Gas Pipeline

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) -- The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has ordered all construction work to be halted on the $2.5 billion natural gas pipeline that runs from western Pennsylvania to Delaware County's Marcus Hook.

A 24-page report from DEP cites numerous permit violations by Sunoco on the Mariner East 2 pipeline and suspends all construction permits until the company meets the requirements outlined in the order.

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DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell says in a press release, "Until Sunoco can demonstrate that the permit conditions can and will be followed, DEP has no alternative but to suspend the permits."

"There was no single violation that prompted this suspension," McDonnell said. "We've seen a pattern of knowing violations of permits."

The violations are in Berks, Blair, Cumberland, Dauphin, Huntingdon, Perry and Washington Counties, but will affect construction in Chester and Delaware Counties. They include discharging industrial waste without a permit and horizontal drilling without the proper permits.

Sunoco has 30 days to submit reports for DEP to review whether or not to allow construction to continue.

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Back in July, operations of the pipeline were halted in certain areas where drilling compromised some well water for about a dozen homes. There have also been dozens of spills of non-toxic drilling lubricant across the state.

In a statement, a Sunoco spokesman says they expect to comply with the order and in their words, "are confident we will be reauthorized to commence work on this project promptly."


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