Sunoco Logistics, L.P. continues to bully landowners to push through the Pennsylvania Pipeline Project, more commonly known as Mariner East 2&3 (these lines will be located along the existing Mariner East 1 pipeline). In 2014, the initial phase of the project (Mariner East 1) converted a pre-existing oil pipeline to transport natural gas liquids to Marcus Hook, a refinery on the East coast. Phase 1 also included an extension of the line between Delmont and Huston, PA. Sunoco seeks to continue expansion by adding a 20-inch and 16-inch pipeline, Mariner East 2 and 3, using the same right-of-ways as Mariner East 1. To do this, the company has claimed that they are a public utility with the right to use eminent domain to obtain right-of-ways when landowners are unwilling to sign a new easement.
Our friends at Clean Air Council (CAC) have challenged Sunoco in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on their right to use eminent domain. Though Sunoco filed preliminary objections, the case may still come before the Pennsylvania Superior Court before a final decision is made. In the meantime, Sunoco has threatened landowners who refuse to settle with a final offer letter, a tactic used to end negotiations over pipeline rights of way. Recently, landowners in Washington, Huntingdon, and Cumberland Counties have lost to Sunoco in eminent domain proceedings in the Court of Common Pleas. The losses have left many landowners along the route feeling defeated, but this fight is not over.
While we wait on a decision in Clean Air Council’s appeal regarding whether or not Sunoco has the right to use eminent domain, MWA continues to organize local opposition to this project. The Mariner East route spans Westmoreland county crossing through Rostraver, South Huntingdon, Sewickley, Hempfield, Jeannette, Penn, Salem, Loyalhanna, Murrysville and Derry Townships. This project has serious potential to impact our watershed, as the new pipelines will cross under the Yough in Sutersville. Our members have already been directly impacted from the first phase of the Mariner East Project as a result of flooding from improper erosion and sediment controls along the existing right-of-way. The same landowners are currently facing eminent domain proceedings because they refused to sign a new easement with the company.
Please check out a map of the route here. If you live along the pipeline or are concerned about this project, please contact Stephanie at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (724)455-4200 ext. 5#. There will be additional opportunities to submit comment on Sunoco’s permit applications and to meet with other local landowners, so please reach out to Stephanie to learn more.