Sunoco Mariner I & II - Documents & Litigation
This section of the website is devoted to providing timely, accurate, and continuously updated public information on the Sunoco Pipeline Project (Mariner I and II) that runs through our Township. This is a highly controversial project that, unfortunately, the Township was forced to engage through litigation starting in 2014. That is when Sunoco, in the Township's view, breached our mutual Settlement Agreement to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the projects through our community. Documents posted here include:
- Findings of fact
- Legal filings
- Safety reports
- Township news releases and public statements
- Other pertinent materials for your review
We greatly appreciate your support and welcome your questions.
Events, News & Hearings
March 5, 2020: Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) Schedule Update
The Township has received preliminary information from Sunoco / Energy Transfer that HDD will begin around mid-May 2020 and commencing for several months. This portion of drilling will be westbound from the Boot Road construction site location into West Whiteland Township.
February 13, 2020: Sunoco / Energy Transfer Receives Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Approval of HDD
The Pennsylvania DEP today granted permission for Sunoco / Energy Transfer to begin HDD between West Whiteland Township and West Goshen Township on Boot Road between in the vicinity of Route 202 and the Goshen Fire Company substation.
September 23, 2019: Accufacts Supplemental Report on "Explosion" at Sunoco's Boot Road Pump Station
At the September 17, 2019 Board of Supervisors meeting, the Supervisors asked Special Counsel David Brooman to inquire on several issues with Township safety expert Richard Kuprewicz. The following document is a supplemental report regarding the August 5, 2019 "explosion" at the Sunoco Boot Road Pump Station.
September 16, 2019: Accufacts Report Regarding the August 5, 2019 "Explosion" at Sunoco's Boot Road Pump Station
The Township Board of Supervisors authorized Township Special Counsel David Brooman and Township pipeline safety expert Richard Kuprewicz with Accufacts to review the August 5, 2019 "explosion" that occurred at the Sunoco Boot Road Pump Station. The results of that investigation may be found in the "Accufacts Sunoco Boot Road Pump Station "Explosion" Report", authorized to be released by the Board of Supervisors at their September 17, 2019 monthly public meeting.
August 15, 2019: West Goshen Township Public Comments Regarding Proposed Settlement Agreement
West Goshen Township public comments regarding the Township opposing the proposed settlement agreement in the case of Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) vs. Sunoco Pipeline, L.P..
August 20, 2019: The Daily Local News Article Regarding a New PA Public Utility Investigation
August 5, 2019: "Loud Boom" Incident
On Monday, August 5th, shortly after 8 pm, West Goshen Police responded to several 911 calls regarding a loud "boom" in the area of Sunoco Pump Station close to Route 202 and Boot Road. It was determined to be a noise associated with the station itself and Sunoco released the following statement regarding the event:
"During routine maintenance at our Boot Station in West Goshen Twp., there was a backfire on a flare at approximately 8 pm as the station was brought back online. This resulted in a loud noise, similar to a car backfiring. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused."
Chester County Department of Emergency Services was notified shortly after the noise and determined it was not an emergency situation. The PA Public Utilities Commission is aware of the incident as well.
Township Formal Investigation
Additionally, the Township is formally investigating the matter to determine what happened, why, and how such an event can be handled in the future. Although the only first responders at the Township-level are West Goshen Police, we will do everything in our power to find out as much information as we possibly can on behalf of our residents.
2018 Pipeline Training Presentation / PHMSA Training Manual
In 2018, Representative Carolyn Comitta obtained a $134,000 job training grant for West Goshen Township to facilitate first responder pipeline firefighter training and Highly Volatile Liquids (HVL) training for municipal staff members. 25 firefighters from the West Chester Fire Company and the Chester County hazmat team attended five full days of hands-on firefighter training at the Texas A&M University (TEEX) "Disaster City" school in College Station, Texas in September 2018. 23 staff members from Chester County municipalities along the Mariner I route took a three day training session on HVL's at the United States Department of Transportation's Transportation Safety Institute, hosted by PHMSA. Many thanks to Representative Comitta and her staff for obtaining this important job and safety training grant.
Casey LaLonde, West Goshen Township Manager, provided a presentation to the West Goshen Township Board of Supervisors and the public at the May 30, 2019 Board of Supervisors meeting.
Report of "Loss of Circulation" at Boot Road HDD Construction Site
It was reported to the Township that on April 15, 2019, Michels, the company hired by Sunoco / Energy Transfer Partners to install the Mariner II and IIx pipelines, experienced a "loss of circulation," meaning an amount of bentonite clay drilling fluid escaped into a void underground. This is different from an "inadvertent return," in which bentonite clay drilling fluid escapes the drilling hole and is spilled on the ground. Residents with on-lot well water were notified of the "loss of circulation" by certified mail from Sunoco / Energy Transfer. If you received a letter and experience any changes to your on-lot well water, please follow the instructions contained in the letter. This "loss of circulation" has no affect on those with public water supplied by Aqua, PA.
September 20, 2018: PUC Decision & Order Regarding West Goshen Township vs. Sunoco Logistics
In summary, the September 20,2018 PUC Decision and Order contains the following:
The order states in its entirety:
- That the Joint Petition for Settlement in Lieu of Exceptions filed by Sunoco Pipeline L.P. and West Goshen Township on August 10, 2018, is moot.
- That the Recommended Decision of Administrative Law Judge Elizabeth H. Barnes, issued on July 19, 2018, is adopted without modification.
- That Sunoco Pipeline, L.P. is enjoined from constructing or locating a valve or its appurtenances on the Janiec 2 Tract or anywhere else in West Goshen Township, except for the SPLP Use Area, without first consulting with and obtaining the express written consent of West Goshen Township.
- That Sunoco Pipeline, L.P. shall provide all engineering documents and plans to Richard Kuprewicz of Accufacts, Inc. for safety reviews related to Mariner East 2 and Mariner East 2X between the valve at Eagle and the valve at Middletown, and regarding Sunoco Pipeline L.P.'s plans to eliminate a valve in West Goshen Township and automate a valve approximately 2.5 miles from West Goshen Township, within thirty (30) days of the entry date of this Opinion and Order, and shall file an affidavit with this Commission attesting that service has been made to Richard Kuprewicz of Accufacts, Inc. within forty-five (45) days of the entry date of this Opinion and Order.
- That Sunoco Pipeline, L.P. shall file an affidavit with this Commission attesting that it has installed remotely operated or automatic valves at MP 335-Eagle Pump Station, MP 341.1-East Lincoln Highway, and MP 350.5-Middletown Road within thirty (30) days of such installation, which shall occur no later than 120 days after the entry date of this Opinion and Order.
- That upon compliance with the directives in Ordering Paragraphs 4 and 5, above, this proceeding at Docket Number C-2017-2589346 shall be marked closed.The Township and its Special Counsel (High Swartz) will be monitoring Sunoco Logistics to ensure that all of the conditions of the Order are completed.
Sunoco Logistics (Also Known as Energy Transfer) to Utilize Existing 12 Inch Line for Mariner II
Sunoco Logistics announced in early July 2018 that it would be utilizing an existing 12 inch line for in lieu of their long-delayed Mariner II line. The Mariner II and IIx construction has been halted in various Chester County municipalities due to issues with their Horizontal Direction Drilling (HDD) program. The repurposed 12 inch line runs almost parallel to the existing 8 inch line that Sunoco Logistics has utilized since 2015 to pump Marcellus Shale Highly Volatile Liquids (HVL) to Marcus Hook for processing.
Sunoco Logistics applied to PHMSA in early July for permission to repurpose the line to carry HVL's instead of the gasoline products currently being shipped west. West Goshen Township's safety expert, Richard Kuprewicz, will review the pipeline integrity management plan as provided by Sunoco Logistics and report back to the West Goshen Township Board of Supervisors with his review.
West Goshen Township vs. Sunoco Pipeline, L.P.
The West Goshen Township Board of Supervisors initiated litigation against Sunoco Pipeline, L.P., in 2017 in response to the Township's position that Sunoco Pipeline, L.P. was acting in violation of the 2014 Settlement Agreement. The litigation is being pursued within the jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. After a series of hearings in spring 2018, Public Utility Commission Administrative Law Judge Elizabeth Barnes issued her Decision on July 19, 2018.
Judge Barnes' Decision was based on filings made in June by Township Special Counsel High Swartz and Sunoco Pipeline, L.P.
February 15, 2018: PA DEP Allows Sunoco to Restart Drilling Activities
The Pennsylvania DEP has issued 12.5 million dollars in fines for Sunoco and has allowed a restart of Horizontal Directional Drilling throughout the Commonwealth.
Please see the DEP Sunoco Satisfies Requirements Press Release for more information.
January 3, 2018: PA DEP Suspends Mariner East 2 Construction Permits
The Pennsylvania DEP has issued an order suspending the construction permits associated with the Mariner East 2 pipeline project.
Please see the DEP Suspends Mariner East 2 Construction Permits Press Release for more information.
Pennsylvania PUC Rescinds Mariner II Injunction
At their December 21, 2017 public meeting the PUC voted 3 to 2 to rescind the October 26, 2017 Decision and Order, which amended and affirmed the July 24, 2017 injunction issued by Administrative Law Judge Elizabeth Barnes, due to "a change in the underlying facts of the case." The "change in underlying facts" consists of information presented to the PUC by Sunoco that Sunoco no longer intends to construct a valve station in West Goshen Township. Therefore, Sunoco may commence with HDD immediately within the Township.
Furthermore, Sunoco may utilize the Janiec 2 site for any construction-related activities. The Township intends to continue with the overall PUC case against Sunoco with various hearings scheduled for 2018. The PUC's Order rescinding the October 26, 2017 Order will be posted here upon publication by the PUC.
October 26,2017: PUC Affirms Judge's Decision
At their October 26, 2017 public meeting the PUC affirmed Judge Barnes' July 24, 2017 Decision and Order by a vote of 4 to 0. The PUC affirmation of Judge Barnes' Decision and Order continues the halt of any installation of pipeline valves at the Boot Road site and prohibits the start of HDD in West Goshen Township until the PUC hears the Township's Sunoco Mariner II case in April, 2018.
Commencing Monday, October 23rd, Sunoco is conducting hydrostatic testing of their existing 12inch Mariner I line.
Documents / Litigation
- 02-13-2020 Department of Environmental Protection Horizontal Directional Drill Approval Letter (PDF)
- 02-15-2018 West Goshen Board of Supervisors Statement Regarding Recent Statements by Sunoco
- 03-29-2017 1st Amended Complaint on Settlement Agreement (PDF)
- 04-15-2019 Sunoco Loss of Circulation Letter (PDF)
- 07-07-2017 LaLonde Affidavit on Emergency Petition (PDF)
- 07-07-2017 Sunoco Mariner II Construction Notice of Violation (PDF)
- 07-10-2017 West Goshen Files Petition for Injunction Press Release (PDF)
- 07-11-2017 Public Utility Commission Denial of Emergency Injunction (PDF)
- 07-12-2017 Public Utility Commission Emergency Injunction Denial Ratification (PDF)
- 07-18-2018 Sunoco 12 Inch Line Property Owner Notification Letter (PDF)
- 07-19-2018 Judge Barnes Decision (PDF)
- 07-20-2017 West Goshen Petition for Ex-Parte Emergency Order (PDF)
- 07-24-2017 Interim Emergency Order Granted (PDF)
- 07-24-2017 PA Department of Environmental Protection Order for Chester County Stopping Work (PDF)
- 07-24-2017 PA Department of Environmental Protection Order for Cumberland County Stopping Work (PDF)
- 07-24-2017 Public Utility Commission Denial of Motions on Judgment of Pleadings (PDF)
- 08-02-2017 West Goshen Township Public Utility Commission Brief (PDF)
- 08-02-2017 West Goshen Township Public Utility Commission Brief Without Appendix (PDF)
- 08-02-2017 West Goshen Township Public Utility Commission Proposed Findings of Fact (PDF)
- 08-15-2019 Township Public Comments Opposing the Settlement Agreement (PDF)
- 09-16-2019 Accufacts Sunoco Boot Road Pump Station "Explosion" Report (PDF)
- 09-20-2018 Public Utility Commission Decision and Order (PDF)
- 09-23-2019 Accufacts Sunoco Boot Road Pump Station "Explosion" Report - Supplemental (PDF)
- 10-23-2017 Sunoco Hydrostatic Testing Statement (PDF)
- 10-26-2017 Public Utility Commission Decision and Order (PDF)
- 11-08-2018 Accufacts Mariner II 12 Inch Repurposed Line Report (PDF)
- 2015 Settlement Agreement (PDF)
- 2018 Pipeline Training Presentation (PDF)
- Accufacts Mariner I Safety Report (Richard Kuprewicz Report) (PDF)
- Accufacts Mariner II Safety Report (Richard Kuprewicz Report)
- Aerial Photograph of Proposed Site (PDF)
- Initial Pre-Conference Hearing Document (PDF)
- Mariner East I Proposed Settlement Fact Sheet (PDF)
- Mariner II Pipeline Accufacts Report Presentation (PDF)
- Mariner II Pipeline Expert Discussion Notification (PDF)
- Sunoco Pipeline Post Hearing Brief (PDF)
- Township Response in Opposition for Summary Dismissal (PDF)
- West Goshen Township Post Hearing Brief (PDF)
- Withdraw Notification (PDF)
- Zoning Hearing Application for Pump Station (PDF)
- Why did West Goshen Township sue Sunoco Logistics?
- Why did Sunoco Logistics breach the settlement agreement if it agreed to it in the first place?
- What is the economic impact of the Mariner II pipelines on West Goshen Township?
- What’s it costing West Goshen Township to fight Sunoco Logistics?
- May West Goshen Township recover its legal fees for this fight?
- What’s the Mariner I and II project worth to Sunoco Logistics?
- How much will Sunoco Logistics be paying to the West Goshen Township to run the 2 new pipelines through the Township?
- How long will this litigation go on?
- Why didn’t West Goshen Township just tell Sunoco Logistics it did not want any new pipelines installed in the Township?