Senator John C. Rafferty, Jr. (R-44) and Senator Andrew E. Dinniman (D-19) sent a letter recently to Environmental Hearing Board Judge Bernard Labuskes, the presiding judge over a case between Sunoco Pipeline L.P. (Sunoco) and environmental groups, that called for attention to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) mismanagement of Sunoco’s Mariner East II Pipeline project (project).
In the letter, Senator Rafferty and Senator Dinniman emphasized the importance of responsible state-agency oversight in the development and management of pipelines in Chester County and throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. These concerns were echoed prior to the new settlement between Sunoco and environmental groups, and the agreed-upon settlement begins to address the project’s multi-faceted impacts.
“We heard from our constituents about their concerns regarding environmental degradation, lack of responsible oversight by DEP and Sunoco, and a disregard of property owners’ rights,” remarked Senator Rafferty. “The Commonwealth desperately needs state-agency leadership that ensures a balanced, well-communicated approach to responsible pipeline development and management. I will continue to advocate for accountability and transparency on the implementation of this project, and I am certain that DEP will become much more effective in overseeing pipeline projects under the direction of newly confirmed Secretary Patrick McDonnell.”
“When government agencies fall woefully short in their duty to protect citizens, it is left to lawmakers and the courts to step forward. Time and time again throughout this process, it seems like DEP has been either unwilling or unable to meet its constitutional responsibility to preserve our environment,” Senator Dinniman said. “Until that happens and accurate well-water data is scientifically reviewed and our constituents receive timely notification and detailed information about potential impacts of pipeline drilling on their homes and water resources, it is just common sense to suspend drilling operations.”
Senator Rafferty and Senator Dinniman will continue to work together in a bipartisan manner for positive progress on this project.
Nolan Ritchie, Senator Rafferty’s Office, 717-787-1398
Adam Cirucci, Senator Dinniman’s Office, 610-692-2112