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Environmental Groups Challenge Pipeline Permits

The Mariner East 2 pipelines would run more than 300 miles through 17 Pennsylvania counties. (Andy Arthur/Flickr)
The Mariner East 2 pipelines would run more than 300 miles through 17 Pennsylvania counties. (Andy Arthur/Flickr)
February 15, 2017

PHILADELPHIA – Environmental groups have filed an appeal of 20 permits issued Monday for the proposed Mariner East Two pipelines. The pipelines would carry highly-flammable, natural-gas liquids including propane, butane and ethane over 300 miles across 17 Pennsylvania counties.

But according to Delaware Riverkeeper Maya von Rossum, the Department of Environmental Protection issued the permits despite applications riddled with errors.

"There's been misinformation and missing information, and information challenged by the public and by experts, and information challenged by Department of Environmental Protection employees themselves," she said.

Last September, the DEP identified multiple deficiencies in the original applications, and revisions were submitted in December.

But van Rossum notes that the pipeline project's Environmental Impact Statement still isn't complete and reviews necessary for Clean Water Act certification have not been done.

"DEP rushed an approval out the door without going to the public for the review necessary to ensure that DEP understood the huge mistake it was making," she added.

She says people living along the pipeline route had notified the DEP of additional discrepancies in the updated application after it was filed.

Van Rossum says the appeal of the approval was filed Monday night, asking that any construction be put on hold.

"So that we can litigate this issue without the pipeline being built while we're trying to challenge the approval that was granted by the DEP and the Wolf administration," explained Van Rossum.

The Clean Air Council and the Mountain Watershed Association joined with the Delaware Riverkeeper Network in filing the appeal.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - PA