The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced that Sunoco Pipeline, L.C. (Sunoco) paid DEP a $59,000 civil penalty as part of a settlement agreement for Sunoco s violations of the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act that affected wetlands and streams in five southern Pennsylvania counties.
Inspections conducted by DEP between March 2014 and June 2015 found that Sunoco performed repair work to the Mariner East 1 Pipeline that impacted seven separate wetlands in Berks, Blair, Cumberland, Huntingdon, and Perry counties, installed a valve station in a floodway in Blair County, and impacted two small streams in Huntingdon County.
Sunoco did not obtain the necessary permits prior to conducting the work at these locations.
Construction, operation or maintenance of a water obstruction or encroachment without a permit is a violation of the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act.
While maintenance work is a necessary part of proper pipeline operation, companies must ensure that important water resources like wetlands and small streams are protected, said Lynn Langer, director of DEP s South-central Region.
Sunoco subsequently obtained permit authorization for the aforementioned violations, in addition to all other stream, floodway, and wetland crossings as part of the Mariner East 1 project.
The Mariner East 1 is an eight-inch underground pipeline that runs between Westmoreland and Delaware counties.