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Mariner East 2 Pipeline Construction Restarts

Sunoco’s Mariner East 2 pipeline will restart construction after agreeing to a $12.6 million fine for a series of drilling fluid leaks in Pennsylvania, according to a new report by Fox.

"Sunoco has demonstrated that it has taken steps to ensure the company will conduct the remaining pipeline activities in accordance with the law and permit conditions, and will be allowed to resume," Pennsylvania’s Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell said in a statement. "DEP will be monitoring activities closely to ensure that Sunoco is meeting the terms of this agreement and its permits."

Construction came to a halt on January 3, when the environmental agency said the company would not comply with the state’s construction standards. The fine is one of the largest levied in state history. The funds are earmarked for clean-up efforts in dams and nearby streams.

Earlier, the environmental groups touted the halt order as a victory due to their initial opposition to the pipeline, which they say would deforest as much as 1,500 acres of streams, wetlands, and farmlands.

"Today's announcement [to halt construction] is a step in the right direction, but the only responsible course of action for Governor Wolf is to stop the Mariner East 2 altogether," Sam Rubin of Food & Water Watch said last month. "This project, which was greenlighted with flawed permits, was never going to be safe for the people of Pennsylvania."

In late November of 2016, Sunoco Logistics Partners and Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) agreed to merge in a bid to lower borrowing and operating costs. ETP is a key player in the controversial Dakota Access pipeline that, like Mariner East, was also greenlighted by relevant authorities. Sunoco bought ETP in a $21 billion all-stock deal, assuming some $30 billion in long-term debt on ETP’s balance sheets.

By Zainab Calcutawala for Oilprice.com

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