FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – FEBRUARY 8, 2018
Contact: Karen Feridun, Berks Gas Truth, 610-678-7726
Berks Gas Truth’s Statement on DEP’s Decision to Lift Suspension of Mariner East 2 Permits
Kutztown, PA –
Statement by Berks Gas Truth founder Karen Feridun
In its decision to allow Sunoco/Energy Transfer Partners to resume construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline, the Department of Environmental Protection has demonstrated once again that its allegiance is with the companies it is charged with regulating, not the public it was created to serve.
DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell said, “Throughout the life of this project, DEP has consistently held this operator to the highest standard possible.” That is demonstrably untrue. The DEP issued the permits a year ago in spite of the fact that unresolved deficiencies remained in the company’s application. In September of 2016, the DEP issued 17 letters citing collectively hundreds of remaining deficiencies in the application that had been in process for years. Berks County’s letter alone contained 115 remaining deficiencies.
Two weeks ago, StateImpact reported that texts between the Wolf administration and the DEP received by the Clean Air Council in response to a public records request validated concerns that the agency may have been under political pressure to issue the permits prematurely.
However the decision came about, one thing is known. Communities have paid the price for the DEP’s recklessness and will continue now that our regulators have once again acted irresponsibly by allowing construction to resume.
Today’s decision underscores why it is so important for communities to fight dangerous and destructive infrastructure projects that affect our county and our state. We are the only ones we can rely on to protect our best interests.