Public hearing scheduled on pipeline project

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection will hold a public hearing on Sunoco Logistics’ Mariner East II pipeline project on Wednesday, Aug. 10, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Sykes Student Union building at West Chester University.

“Many of my constituents and residents throughout Chester County have real and valid concerns about this project and its impact on their homes, property values, health, safety, environment, and quality of life,” said state Sen. Andy Dinniman, D-19, in a press release. “More and more pipelines are being slated for our area and it’s important that we make our voices heard and receive transparent and complete answers when it comes to questions about to where and how they are situated. After all, that’s the purpose of the public hearing process.”

Sunoco recently upgraded its existing Mariner East I pipeline to transport natural gas liquids from Ohio and the Pittsburgh area to its Marcus Hook Facility in Delaware County. Most of the Mariner East II project, also known as the Pennsylvania Pipeline Project, is proposed to follow the same corridor as Mariner East I and will traverse 17 counties in the southern tier of Pennsylvania, the release said.

In Chester County, the proposed pipeline will impact West Nantmeal, Wallace, Upper Uwchlan, West Whiteland, West Goshen, East Goshen, Westtown, and Thornbury townships.

Because these pipelines will convey liquefied natural gas, they are regulated by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), which falls under the U.S. Department of Transportation. This project requires multiple permits from DEP, including permits for earth disturbances of five acres or more (Chapter 102), and permits for proposed activities located in, along, across or projecting into a watercourse, floodway or body of water, including wetlands (Chapter 105).

During the hearing, each speaker will have the opportunity to present up to three minutes of verbal testimony. To ensure that all speakers have a fair and equal opportunity to present their testimony, relinquishing of time to other speakers will be prohibited, and groups are asked to designate one speaker. All presenters should bring at least one copy of their comments and exhibits for submission to DEP, according to the release.

Comments submitted electronically and at the upcoming hearings should focus on the relevant permits, not the overall pipeline. Permit information for the Chester and Delaware County region can be found here. Questions and official public comments may be submitted to RA-EPWW-SERO@pa.gov.

Those wishing to offer testimony at the hearing can pre-register by calling or emailing: Virginia Cain, community relations coordinator at 484-250-5808 or by email at vicain@pa.gov. The department will also accept written testimony by email or by sending comments to: RA-EPWW-SERO@pa.gov or mailing to Domenic Rocco, Program Manager, Waterways and Wetlands, 2 E. Main St., Norristown, 19401. Written comments will be accepted until Aug. 24.

The Sykes Student Union is located at 110 W. Rosedale Avenue in West Chester. For more information contact Dinniman’s office at 610-692-2112, or e-mail acirucci@pasenate.com.

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