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Sunoco completes 1st pipeline Snitz Creek crossing despite 8th spill

Written by Daniel Walmer/The Lebanon Daily News | Aug 23, 2018 7:16 AM
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Construction for the Sunoco Mariner East pipeline continues on Wednesday, July 5, 2017. (Photo: Jeremy Long, Lebanon Daily News)

(Lebanon) -- After nearly a year and at least eight documented spills of drilling fluids, Sunoco contractors have finally finished installing a 20-inch pipe for the Mariner East 2 natural gas liquids pipeline under Snitz Creek.

Now, there's only a second, 16-inch pipe still to come.

Sunoco reported a 38-gallon spill of drilling fluids to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Projection on Aug. 15, DEP documents show. Drilling fluids are a non-toxic mix of water and bentonite clay.

Attempts to install the pipe at the West Cornwall Township creek crossing have been fraught with difficulty. Seven previous spills caused Sunoco contractors to repeatedly halt construction.

This time, however, crews were able to complete construction of the 20-inch pipe, DEP spokesman Neil Shader said. However, crews have not yet started work on a second pipe that will be 16 inches in diameter, he said.

The 20-inch pipe is still on pace to be completed and in service sometime this year, according to Sunoco's Mariner East website. The 16-inch pipe is expected to be completed next year.

When finished, the Mariner East 2 pipeline will transport natural gas liquids from Marcellus Shale-rich areas in western Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia to the Marcus Hook refinery near Philadelphia. 

This story comes to us through a partnership between WITF and The Lebanon Daily News

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