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Fri Aug 5, 2022, 03:57 PM

Pipeline developer pleads no contest in pollution cases (cross-posted from LBN)

Pipeline developer pleads no contest in pollution cases


By MICHAEL RUBINKAM Associated Press
August 05, 2022, 1:36 PM

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The developer of a major pipeline system that connects the Marcellus Shale gas field in western Pennsylvania to an export terminal near Philadelphia pleaded no contest Friday to criminal charges that it systematically polluted waterways and residential water wells across hundreds of miles. Dallas-based Energy Transfer Operating agreed to independent testing of homeowners' water and promised to remediate contamination in a settlement of two separate criminal cases brought by the Pennsylvania attorney general.

Under a plea deal, the company will also pay $10 million to restore watersheds and streams along the route of its Mariner East pipeline network. A judge heard and approved the plea at a hearing in Harrisburg on Friday. "We are holding Energy Transfer accountable for their crimes against our natural resources," Attorney General Josh Shapiro said at a news conference after the hearing. The companyís Mariner East 1, Mariner East 2 and Mariner East 2X pipelines are designed to carry propane, ethane and butane from the Marcellus and Utica Shale gas fields to a refinery processing center and export terminal in Marcus Hook, a suburb of Philadelphia. Construction wrapped in February.

Mariner East has been one of the most penalized projects in state history. The owner has racked up tens of millions of dollars in civil penalties and state regulators repeatedly have halted construction over environmental contamination. The attorney general stepped in last October, charging Energy Transfer with illegally releasing industrial waste at 22 sites in 11 counties and willfully failing to report spills to state environmental regulators. The company fouled the drinking water of at least 150 families statewide, prosecutors have said. Under the plea agreement, residents who live near the pipeline and have private water are entitled to request independent testing.

More than 800 residents along the pipelinesí route have been notified of the availability of the testing, and residents have until Aug. 19 to sign up. Though Energy Transferís state permits already require it to fix the damage its pipeline construction caused to waterways and residentsí water supplies, prosecutors said the plea deal goes a step further by requiring the company to submit to independent water testing by geologists picked by the attorney generalís office. Previously, Energy Transfer itself had been testing residentsí water in response to complaints. The company must abide by the independent expertsí recommendations on how to restore the fouled water, which could include treatment systems or new water wells.

(snip)

https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/pipeline-developer-pleads-contest-pollution-cases-88000837




This is why Shapiro has managed to have a lot of "cross-over" appeal and as I have posted multiple times, he actually got more votes when he ran for AG in 2016 and 2020 than any of the candidates that ran for President in those elections!




AG Josh Shapiro

Aug 5, 2022
@PAAttorneyGen

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Iím in Harrisburg announcing a major update on the cases filed against Energy Transfer for criminal behavior related to the Mariner East pipeline and Revolution pipeline.
AG Josh Shapiro
AG Shapiro Announces Major Update on Energy Transfer Environmental Crimes Cases
AG Josh Shapiro
@PAAttorneyGen

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Today in court, Energy Transfer, the company that Sunoco merged its pipeline business into in 2017, did not dispute our evidence and was convicted of our criminal charges.
12:55 PM ∑ Aug 5, 2022





AG Josh Shapiro

Aug 5, 2022
@PAAttorneyGen

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Replying to @PAAttorneyGen
Today in court, Energy Transfer, the company that Sunoco merged its pipeline business into in 2017, did not dispute our evidence and was convicted of our criminal charges.
AG Josh Shapiro
@PAAttorneyGen

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They have pleaded no contest and now must let anyone who believes their drinking water was impacted by the construction of the Mariner East 2 Pipeline receive a free test of their water supply from an independent, professional geologist.
12:56 PM ∑ Aug 5, 2022





AG Josh Shapiro

Aug 5, 2022
@PAAttorneyGen

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Replying to @PAAttorneyGen
That review, and any tests needed, will be fully paid for by Energy Transfer.

And if your drinking water was contaminated by the pipeline, Energy Transfer must fully restore safe drinking water at their cost.
AG Josh Shapiro
@PAAttorneyGen

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These convictions put the people who were most harmed, and most ignored in the construction of the pipeline, firstÖ after years of being pushed aside, doubted, or left feeling helpless.
12:57 PM ∑ Aug 5, 2022





AG Josh Shapiro

Aug 5, 2022
@PAAttorneyGen

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Replying to @PAAttorneyGen
These convictions put the people who were most harmed, and most ignored in the construction of the pipeline, firstÖ after years of being pushed aside, doubted, or left feeling helpless.
AG Josh Shapiro
@PAAttorneyGen

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If you received a letter from our office and the Office of Victim Advocate, please reply to the letter so you can receive a free review of your water supply. If you donít have a copy of the letter, email watertesting@attorneygeneral.gov
1:03 PM ∑ Aug 5, 2022





AG Josh Shapiro
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To every member of the public who helped bring about today's conviction of Energy Transfer ó thank you.
1:15 PM ∑ Aug 5, 2022
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