FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – JANUARY 3, 2018
Contact: Karen Feridun, Berks Gas Truth, 610-678-7726
Berks Gas Truth Statement on DEP’s Suspension of Mariner East II Permits
Kutztown, PA –
Statement by Berks Gas Truth founder Karen Feridun
The Department of Environmental Protection’s decision to temporarily halt construction of the Mariner East II pipeline is welcome news, but it is far from being the solution communities across the state have needed and have sought.
One of the violations that led to this decision occurred in Berks County when Sunoco operated outside of its permit to do Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) that led to a drilling mud spill in the Hay Creek watershed that the company then failed to report. It is demonstrative of the utter lack of regard Sunoco has for the health and safety of communities along the route and for the regulatory process.
The Department of Environmental Protection should never have issued the permits that have now resulted in about 100 drilling mud spills. In its last letters of deficiency issued in September of 2016, the DEP cited hundreds of remaining deficiencies in the company’s application that had been in process for years. Berks County’s letter alone contained 115 remaining deficiencies. Communities have paid the price for the DEP’s reckless rush to permit.
We will continue to fight for a halt to this unnecessary pipeline and the other unnecessary and dangerous infrastructure projects planned for Berks County that will affect the same watershed. We’ve seen too many people lose private water supplies. We’ve seen too much environmental degradation. We now face the possibility of the DEP issuing permits for a power plant and pipeline on a highly contaminated site. The problems we’ve seen on the Mariner East II line don’t hold a candle to what we might see if the DEP makes the same mistake on the Birdsboro projects that it has made on this project.