MWA Files Petition to Intervene in Sunoco’s Mariner East Pipeline Permitting

Sunoco Logistics, L.P. (Sunoco) filed petitions in late March 2014 to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) for exemptions from the zoning ordinances of the municipalities to be impacted by its Mariner East Pipeline project.  The Mariner East project calls for the construction of 17 valve stations and 18 pumping stations, several of which are in townships that MWA serves, including Rostraver, Hempfield, Salem, Penn, Loyalhanna, and Derry.  The project, as originally described in Sunoco’s petitions, focused on the interstate transportation of Marcellus Shale resources, in particular natural gas liquids.

In its petitions, Sunoco claimed status as a public utility corporation under the Municipalities Planning Code (MPC), and therefore would be entitled to zoning exemptions if its buildings were shown to be “reasonably necessary for the convenience or welfare of the public.”

In response to Sunoco’s petitions, MWA filed a petition to intervene to ensure that the citizens we serve have a voice in the process, included in that was our opposition to Sunoco’s petitions.  That document is available here.   In our opposition, MWA challenged Sunoco’s status as a public utility corporation and its claims of benefits from the project to Pennsylvanians.  Today MWA received an amended petition by Sunoco, in which it is still claiming to be a public utility corporation under the MPC and is also asserting that it is a public utility as defined under the Pennsylvania Public Utility Code.  In this new petition, Sunoco claims that it will now be providing intrastate service, in addition to its out state service.  This intrastate service is what Sunoco is now relying upon to achieve a status where it can apply for its requested zoning exemptions.  The fact that Sunoco amended its petition demonstrates the power of community involvement, and MWA will be reviewing this new petition with our partner organizations to ensure that it does not go unanswered.

For more information please contact Nick.

We are grateful to Bob Donnan of for use of the photo of a drilling site near Avella, Pennsylvania which accompanies this post.