HARRISBURG, Pa. — Drilling associated with the construction of the Mariner East 2 Pipeline Project in Dauphin County has been halted after industrial waste fluids surfaced from the bed of the Susquehanna River.
The transfer of materials to the surface during boring machine operations, technically known as an inadvertent return, occurred Thursday, August 24 south of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Bridge in Lower Swatara Township, according to a letter that was sent today from the Waterway & Wetlands Program to Sunoco Pipeline L.P. and Precision Pipeline.
An inspection was conducted by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) that following day — the department issued this statement to FOX43 via email on Tuesday:
DEP is aware of and investigating an inadvertent return associated with the construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline.
Drilling was stopped when the return was identified, and DEP was notified; drilling will not recommence until we receive sufficient information and a plan from Sunoco, pursuant to permit conditions.
The DEP inspection revealed a number of violations, which include: allowing a discharge of industrial waste without a permit, failing to notify the pertinent DEP Regional Office and continuing drilling operations without containment and successful recovery of the inadvertent return, the letter states.
According to the letter, Sunoco Pipeline L.P. and Precision Pipeline will be notified by the DEP if enforcement action is appropriate relating to the listed violations.