Report Says Stalled Pipeline Project Could Create 57K Jobs

January 15, 2018

Earlier this month, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection ordered Sunoco Logistics LP to stop work on the 306-mile, $2.5 billion Mariner East II pipeline that would transport liquid gas from the Marcellus Shale area across Pennsylvania. The agency said Sunoco violated its permits by using unauthorized drilling methods that leaked nontoxic drilling fluid into trout streams and water wells across the state at least 100 times.

The Tribune-Democrat reports Sunoco paid the consulting firm Econsult Solutions to do an economic impact study on the benefits of the Mariner East II pipeline.

The report not only found the pipeline to be beneficial to the area, but Econsult Solutions concluded the line's economic impact could double what was originally expected, bringing 57,070 jobs and $9.1 billion in the next six years if Sunoco is allowed to continue construction.

Sunoco and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) have been at a stalemate since the January 3, 2018 order was issued to stop construction. DEP had entered into an agreement with Sunoco to allow them to drill despite a high number of spills last year, but the spills continued. “Until Sunoco can demonstrate that the permit conditions can and will be followed, the Department of Environmental Protection has no alternative but to suspend the permits,” Pennsylvania DEP Sec. Patrick McDonnell said earlier this month.

Sunoco Pipeline, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners L.P., has a series of 10- and 30-day deadlines to file a list of reports and corrective action plans to the state for DEP review. The company also has until early February to appeal the state’s order to the Environmental Hearing Board.