Repair work continues on Mariner East 2x on Ship Rd at Exton Station. Drone photo taken yesterday shows the pipe has been excavated very close to where the HDD exit pit was ( The drill for this section was at the Hankin apartments on Ship near Boot. After the borehole was complete pipes were pulled from the exit pit here south the the drill site).
As previously reported here, “an anomaly” was detected during recent inspection of the pipeline with a smart pig. The work is expected to last 2-3 weeks which is long compared to recent repairs done on the same pipe in Delaware County.
why is this pipe already in need of repairs?
what happens when an anomaly is detected on a section of pipe that is inaccessible because it was installed tens or even over 100 feet underground or through rock as is the case on many lengths of mariner East through Chester County and Delaware County?
And remember, there is no credible emergency plan to warn protect public when there is a leak of these high volatile liquids in transport through Mariner East.
This has actually been going on for a couple of days. Some hypothesize that Joe Massaro the current talking head (Public Affairs Specialist at Energy Transfer, @JospehMassaro on the platform formerly known as Twitter was tidying up for another residential massage job, perhaps?
Sorry not sorry but I mean you know us residents: some have had properties and wells ruined by Sunoco/Energy Transfer, and then there are the thousands of us who live in blast zones, right? We know we don’t matter to them, and are rather inconvenient to them and politicians including Democrats who love love love the myth of pipelines, fracking, and Hydrogen hubs, right?
So next thing you know, Chair of the West Whiteland Supervisors Brian Dunn is on sitethis morning over on Ship Road and guess what? Sunoco/Energy Transfer was NOT putting him off. He had the township manager with him as well. Supervisor Brian Dunn went DOWN into that big hole to see the pipeline and dent for himself. That pipeline is live because you do not expect them to stop running highly explosive ethane while they make a repair, do you? Actually, fool that I am and a former oil company brat from decades ago, I actually thought they would do just that, but I am but a mere mortal and a female, right?
Anyway, Supervisor Brian Dunn had West Whiteland put it all on their social media channels and website. So for once there is real time updates on a pipeline issue.
This issue is being described as “pipeline maintenance.” I daresay it’s not regular everyday sweeping up is it?
Allow me to let West Whiteland Residents for Pipeline Safety to explain further:
We now know what problem with the Mariner East 2X pipeline on Ship Rd at Exton Station needing repair, thanks to West Whiteland Township conducting a site visit this morning.
There is a dent in the pipe which was detected as “an anomaly” during a recent smart pigging inspection of the pipeline. It safe to assume this dent was caused during construction so its unclear how it went undetected before.
The green coating has been sandblasted away fir the repair and the pipe will be wrapped in clockspring, a composite repair sleeve and reinforcement system uniquely designed for high-pressure transmission pipelines. Work is expected to last until Wednesday, November 8.
The pipeline is actively transporting highly explosive ethane while this work and the excavation using a backhoe is being conducted. The last photo, with the site marked with an red X shows the densely populated area immediately surrounding.
why was this dent, an area of weakness, not detected in previous inspections?
what happens when an anomaly is detected on a section of pipe that is inaccessible because it was installed tens or even over 100 feet underground or through rock as is the case on many lengths of Mariner East through Chester County and Delaware County?
And remember, there is no credible emergency plan to warn protect public when there is a leak of these high volatile liquids in transport through Mariner East.
Thank you to West Whiteland Township for conducting this site visit and providing transparency on this to residents – transparency we do not get from Energy Transfer nor our regulatory agencies.
Energy Transfer regularly conducts routine preventative maintenance on the Mariner East pipeline in the Township to detect anomalies before they become safety issues, One such anomaly was discovered and work is in progress to remediate it.
In order to ensure the integrity of the pipeline is not affected, the pipe will be wrapped in clockspring, a composite repair sleeve and reinforcement system uniquely designed for high-pressure transmission pipelines. Work is expected to last until Wednesday, November 8.
Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PA PUC) has been on site and verified that the activity is within normal pipeline maintenance and operations. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administrations (PHMSA) has also been notified. Township Supervisor Brian Dunn and Township Manager Pam Gural-Bear visited the site and met with ET’s Integrity Team.
The anomaly was identified as one that could be addressed within 180 days.
But can we talk about Supervisor Brian Dunn again? Sorry not sorry but what he did today took guts He did what MORE elected officials should do: he represented his residents and went to the mat for them. That is also brave because dude was down in a freaking pipeline hole and as much as I love my readers, I can tell you I would not have gone down an 18 foot hole into the ground or whatever. (If I had been the township manager, I would have been above ground saying my rosary while he was down there, but I digress.)
It should be pointed out to she who will soon be thankfully out of office in West Whiteland is WHY people love and respect Brian Dunn, and will never wax poetically about you. I mean I know you love to slam him and misquote me, so here’s hoping you understand THIS is what being a public servant and working for the people who elected him actually means. Brian Dunn goes the extra mile for West Whiteland AND Chester County residents. He walks the walk whereas you have only ever spewed the talk occasionally.
It’s a mystery how a brand new pipeline has a dent. Perhaps it was damaged in their rush to get everything in the ground before? WHO KNOWS and we may never know because well, it’s Energy Transfer/Sunoco/Sunoco Logistics and everything has to be massaged and polished and spin doctored before the public gets information if they answer at all, doesn’t it?
Bravo, Brian Dunn but for the love of all that is holy, please don’t do that again. And please note that Brian was on site WITH Sunoco and West Whiteland Township in a planned meet up. DO NOT TRESPASS HERE. That is breaking the law and you will be arrested. Today’s on site photos provided generously by West Whiteland Township.
Happy November. Everything old is new again, including pipeline issues.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission is investigating a newly formed “earth feature” along the Mariner East natural gas liquids pipeline in Chester County.More often referred to as land subsidence or a sinkhole, it occurred in the area of Lisa Drive, West Whiteland Township, where multiple sinkholes first appeared during construction of the pipeline in March 2018.
In this most recent incident, Energy Transfer notified the Department of Environmental Protection that on July 6, a new sinkhole, 18 inches in diameter and 54 inches deep, opened up near its natural gas liquids lines along the Lisa Drive right-of-way. The company reported it had excavated and backfilled the sinkhole, according to a DEP spokesperson.
In an emailed statement to WHYY, the PUC said its “independent Bureau of Investigation – which includes the Pipeline Safety Division – was notified of, and responded to, an earth feature on the Lisa Drive right-of-way in West Whiteland Township, Chester County. I&E will continue their investigation, as appropriate.”
Ginny Kerslake, a Chester County resident and organizer with Food and Water Watch, visited the site after hearing from a nearby resident. On Tuesday, she said she saw fresh straw on top of what looked to be the site of the newly remediated sinkhole.
Energy Transfer did not respond to a request for comment by Wednesday evening.
In December 2022, the company filed a brief in a case before the Public Utility Commission where Chester and Delaware county residents sought a complete shutdown of the pipeline system for safety reasons. In the brief, one of the company’s experts, Dr. Timothy Bechtel, vouched for the subsequent remediation of the Lisa Drive sinkholes. He referred to the area as “the most intensely geophysically investigated real estate of which I am aware…the most geophysically studied parcel on the planet.” Alex Bomstein, an attorney with the Clean Air Council, a plaintiff in the case, was surprised when informed of the new sinkhole.“This was supposed to be put to rest,” Bomstein said. “So why is this extremely analyzed piece of earth shifting once again beneath our feet?”
Blows your mind, doesn’t it?
But wait there is more….West Whiteland Supervisors didn’t know about this…West Whiteland staff seemingly did not know other that Energy Transfer reported a small animal hole? Do I have that correct? That the State Impact/WHYY reporter got her information from the DEP about the specifics of the hole? Said hole was like Where’s Waldo in size retelling yesterday for a while, correct? Why all the confusion Energy Transfer? It is the company doesn’t know how big it’s holes are or they don’t want to really get it out there accurately?
And the whole notification thing bothers me. The West Whiteland Manager did not know right away. The MANAGER. Does Energy Transfer find that acceptable? Did ANYONE at West Whiteland or having to do with Emergency Operations know? You know like former Supervisor Bud Turner? After all he IS the Assistant Fire Marshall and Emergency Management Coordinator, correct? And is it fair to say in the past he has had a somewhat cozy relationship with pipeline folks? Yeah Bud people are allowed to ask what you know and when you knew it…people’s lives could depend upon it, right?
Why were West Whiteland officials NOT shown the sinkhole by Energy Transfer until after it was filled? Seems like maybe Energy Transfer should have had Chair of Supervisors and Manager out to the site?
Ok have you viewed the public comment by Ginny Kerslake above? Other observations include Interesting to note that Supervisor Raj Kumbhardare was fairly rude. Looking at his phone, visibly annoyed and replied snottily to Ginny which was uncalled for. He commented that this had been discussed in email today, so it was like he was over it. Commissioner Saint Theresa the Lame Duck just acts like an angry cat and from zoom it is like she won’t even look at residents. Which of course is equal parts rude and dismissive, but hey her head is in the game of free yard sales these days, right?
So in the whole sinkhole of it all over there where the new one is if I have it straight the north side is Limestone and south side is schist. And is this something called the Martic fault (line?) I guess it is? (If I have that backwards or upside down, I am guessing someone will tell me? And is this latest hole rather near the Mariner East II 20″ pipeline? I mean what possibly could go wrong, right?
And can someone tell me WHY Energy Transfer remediates sinkholes with CONCRETE? I thought the way to properly remediate a sinkhole is excavation and then layers of soil and stone compacted? So guessing they can’t do that because pipeline might go boom so what happens if concrete fix like sinks onto pipeline if another hole were to emerge? Concrete is heavy, right? I know, I know I am but a mere mortal and a female…
Funny other thing? Yesterday, the Chester County Commissioners had as a topic approving a rather expensive safety plan for pipelines that many of us thought was in place like a while ago but isn’t?
Ok let’s talk about this company and this proposal. First view the power point presentation seemingly created by a middle schooler today:
I have to ask WHY WASN’T the ACTUAL COMPANY THERE? Did someone not want them to have to answer questions? Very bothersome. Much like the PowerPoint for toddlers by middle schoolers which basically said nothing except made you wonder how the plan this company with no experience has put forward was actually accepted? Forget about how do they think anyone is going to move fast enough if something goes BOOM because we will probably go BOOM too? What is that about running uphill in the wind or is it against the wind in a blindfold or something? Comparing it to not using cell phone at gas pump? (This gets a big WhatjatalkinboutWillis.)
Soooo related to this was when Ginny Kerslake wanted info and was denied (hey public record baby and Facebook public on the redacted blackout.)
Then there is the whole other thing with the presentation of who is notified and when and they had municipalities adjoining the big Energy Transfer etc invaded municipalities but are those municipalities included in the notification of it all? I mean hello, hello BLAST ZONE? Not chopped liver, BLAST ZONE.
Also to be considered now given the games of notification with this latest it’s not a sinkhole it’s a lil’ animal hole…no ooopsies it is a sinkhole but you can’t see it we covered it up can we even depend upon Energy Transfer to notify properly or in a timely fashion?
Oh here public comment from the County Commissioners meeting today:
I will note that wannabe county commissioners, i.e. candidates were also at the county commissioners meeting in the audience. They did not speak. They were not value added. So maybe just maybe ALL candidates should be asked CLEARLY where they stand on pipelines and for the new kids, would they have allowed the pipelines into Chester County like this in the FIRST PLACE? I mean we know what happened with the ones already in office running again, but hey little nouveau candidates we’re not carrying YOUR water, and if you don’t carry ours, it’s an election issue. If you talk out of the both sides of your mouth and get elected, prepare to be haunted.
No one is particularly naïve to political BS and pipelines any longer since most residents, especially affected residents have a masters in it: politicians all say what you want to hear to get elected, then they disappear. Both parties, all the way to Washington DC and Harrisburg. My opinion has kind of always been politicians and pipelines have an odd symbiotic relationship. The politicians who don’t have a comfy cozy pipeline relationship are essentially flogged daily or whenever convenient. In Chester County and elsewhere in PA, the politicians who have the fortitude and common sense to realize the risks outweigh the rewards when it comes to these pipelines are the exceptions rather than the rule. We need to change that, and I think we can.
Pipelines as an issue should be non-partisan in our communities. These pipeline companies don’t care whose lives and properties and areas they ruin.
And I will finish with the correspondence from Energy Transfer to West Whiteland’s very nice manager yesterday that was referred to in the supervisors meeting last evening:
Here is what was said in case it is hard to read:
Subject: More information on the Lisa Drive Earth Feature
Last week a third party contractor was inspecting our right of way at Lisa Drive in West Whiteland Township, Chester County and discovered an earth feature behind a property owned by Sunoco Pipeline L.P. There were no utilities or pipelines exposed and there is no concern to public safety.
A professional geologist (PG) visited the site the same day and recommended that our operations team over excavate the area and then fill with flowable fill. This work was completed the following morning when flowable fill was available. Moving forward we will continue to monitor the area as we have been. In relation to the earth feature – it was approximately 18” in diameter and 54” deep. The PG believes that it could have been caused by heavy rains that occurred earlier last week. Approximate distance from pipelines –
5 feet adjacent and 50 feet above the 16-inch ME2X pipeline (carrying ethane) – This pipeline was installed via horizontal directional drill.
8 feet away from the 20-inch ME2 pipeline (carrying propane and butane)
27 feet from the 8-inch former ME1 pipeline (currently in refined products service)
25 feet from the 12-inch pipeline (Currently laid down with nitrogen)
Joseph P. Massaro Lead Specialist – Public Affairs Energy Transfer
Never a dull moment in Pipelineville.I guess “earth feature” is pipeline speak for “sinkhole”? And pay close attention because pipeline companies are jonesing for hydrogen hubs too.
I am glad it finally happened, and I will also own the fact that I have never been a huge Josh Shapiro fan, but he has finally started to do good here. A lot of us have been aware of him for years and truthfully that dates back to when he was Chief of Staff to then Congressman Joe Hoeffel. A lot of us who were involved with saving Ardmore’s historic business district from eminent domain for private gain had interactions with him early on. And to be honest back then he didn’t really pay attention to us as those concerned residents, and then we just sort of watched as the rest of people did in southeastern PA as he took one political job then the next. He’s a politician, so I’m just being honest here. But I am so happy that this finally happened. And I say thank you to AG Josh Shapiro.
But who else am I saying thank you to? My amazing friends who have devoted so much time to this. So much time. As someone who lives in close proximity to where Adelphia wants to do the same thing, I am grateful for their years of work. And it’s not over yet. It’s really just beginning.
These charges or the announcement of charges indicates my friends and these other activists who are just every day people. Because really, that’s how activism starts: something drastically affects you within your community. And you wake up one day and you realize you can’t just stand there and say nothing and do nothing. And we also have to remember former district attorney for Chester County Tom Hogan and his staff. In 2019 he filed charges against Energy Transfer for other things.
Today’s press conference was held at Marsh Creek right here in Chester County. Why? A bunch of these charges relate to the release of industrial waste at 22 sites in 11 counties across the state. And Energy Transfer polluted Marsh Creek last year and it was significant. For more read State Impact.
And I want to take another minute to recognize the local folks who really did this. Ladies and gentlemen you know who you are. Many of you are my friends. I am so damn proud of you.
So proud. It’s not the war, but it’s a significant battle. So hey there Governor Tom Wolf how about pulling the permits? Harrisburg could do that pending outcome of all charges and final disposition, correct?
Here’s a good one for you: A 30+ years employee of Sunoco is running for WGT supervisor. As a supposed environmentalist ( she has a BS in business?)
But it’s West Goshen so what do we expect? But do we have to consider that if this person is a former Sunoco employee is that like letting the fox in the hen house when it comes to pipelines and municipalities in Chester County?
This political candidate removed her post about a valve leak and disappeared overnight. She had been asked questions by local pipeline activists (otherwise known as concerned residents) which she kind of ignored and deleted the entire post as opposed to answering the questions which kind of answers the ultimate question of what residents will get if they elect a former LONG TERM employee of Sunoco to elected public office right? Isn’t West Goshen one of those places which doesn’t need elected officials like this?
So like her former employer she colors outside of the lines and doesn’t answer questions right? Has anyone checked her campaign finance reports to see who (and what entities) have donated to her campaign?
Oh yes…the screenshots:
Now y’all know I don’t vote in West Goshen. And I find West Goshen to be politically problematic most of the time. And a lot of this woman’s local experience has to do with the sewer authority in West Goshen which I seem to recall has had lots of issues over the years?
People meet the fox 🦊. If you let her into the henhouse expect dead chickens 🐓 . No she’s literally not a fox and no West Goshen isn’t literally a henhouse.
Kind of like talking about a Wolf 🐺 in sheep’s 🐑 clothing which I also think applies here don’t you?
The tooth fairy 🧚♀️ would be a better choice for supervisor here.
Here is all about her from her fuzzy bunnies Facebook campaign page:
I will be honest a few points jumped out at me like 11 & 12 & 15 respectively and make me wonder how long this has been going on?????
From the letter:
Drilling logs indicate that from June 2, 2020, through June 6, 2020, over 20,000 gallons of drilling fluid were reported as lost. Please explain how the daily volume of lost drilling fluid is calculated. Also, please explain how Sunoco determines when the drill has experienced a loss of circulation. Further, please explain why a 500-gallon fluid loss was reported in a Loss Prevention Report on March 3, 2020, but the June fluid losses were not so reported.
Drilling logs indicate that on August 8, 2020, 17,000 gallons of mud were mixed and the washover tool was tripped out of the bore. Please explain the rationale for these actions and the drilling conditions/observations at that time.
Explain why grout was used in the drilling mud on July 9, 2020, and July 10, 2020. Was this a labeling mistake or was grout pumped downhole?
Erin Brocovich has even taken an interest in our plight:
Does Energy Transfer/Sunoco/ Sunoco Logistics realize the national stage is being set as more and more people are becoming aware?
This is one of my favorite protest signs from I am not sure when:
I leave you this evening with photos say a 100 words. Drone photos courtesy of PK Ditty:
By Erin Cox and Gregory S. Schneider July 5, 2020 at 7:07 p.m. EDT
The two energy companies behind the controversial 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline on Sunday abandoned their six-year bid to build it, saying the project has become too costly and the regulatory environment too uncertain to justify further investment.
The natural-gas pipeline would have tunneled under the Appalachian Trail on its way from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina…Property rights advocates in the Appalachians joined with an ashram in central Virginia and black Baptists from a rural county to make opposing the pipeline a high-profile political and social justice issue….Virginia-based Dominion Energy and North Carolina-based Duke Energy spent $3.4 billion on the project….But company officials said in a statement that other recent federal court rulings linked to the Keystone XL pipeline have heightened the litigation risk, extended the project’s timeline and further ballooned the cost of the project…
(Washington Post 7/5/2020)
So if the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline have been stopped, why not Mariner II?
I do not know how you could have missed the news this week. It started when Sunoco/Energy Transfer breached the aquifer and mud emerged from the ground while drilling on Saturday on Shoen Road. This is where my friend Ginny lives. I will let her words from five days ago be heard now:
It was a rough day y’all. Started before 6am with Sunoco violating our township noise ordinance. Then at 1:40pm I sent an email to Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection staff in charge of Mariner East informing them that Sunoco’s plan to handle a frac-out of drilling mud on our property was failing and instead of Sunoco stopping drilling as required or the DEP forcing them to, they all did NOTHING. Two hours later there was a river of drilling mud flowing across our property. All this while an estimated 250,000 gallons of formerly pristine groundwater pour down the drill hole every 24 hours to be hauled away as residual waste….. enough to fill an Olympic sized swimming pool every two days. This is expected to continue for a few months.
The upside of all this: As I stood at the road, amongst a crowd of township police and glaring workers and security, and with the support of friends, people from our community driving by gave thumbs up and bold raised fists.
Community power. Defend what you love.
~ Ginny Kerslake 8/10/2020
And I watched live videos where it looked like my friend Ginny was being menaced on her own property? It has been crazy. My friend Ginny, however, is grace under pressure. And she pointed out on Tuesday:
As an estimated 250,000 gallons of ground water per day gushes down the borehole from the Mariner East HDD on Shoen Road in West Whiteland Township to be hauled away as waste, after Sunoco beached the aquifer yet again, let’s look at the situation in Edgemont, Delaware county where Mariner East drilling also destroyed private wells. But unlike in West Whiteland, THERE IS NO PUBLIC WATER OPTION.
Erica Tarr’s family has been without clean running water for several months. They have had to dig a new well and put in expensive filtration devices to no success and at great expense to them. Aqua PA has quoted them $500,000 to extend a new public water line to their home. Sunoco had done nothing for them. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has done nothing for them.
Where’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro? He has been investigating Mariner East for over a year now. Meanwhile this family is denied our constitutional right to clean water. So many families have been denied this right along this egregious project and in Western PA due to fracking, many without the resources to fight or fix, or without even knowing their water was contaminated. Where’s Governor Tom Wolf?
A reminder of Pennsylvania’s Green Amendment, proudly passed in 1971:
“The Environmental Rights Amendment (ERA), (Article I, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution), states: The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment.”
What’s there to be proud of Pennsylvania?
~ Ginny Kerslake 8/11/2020
Ginny had this to say today:
As the DEP investigation into and cleanup of the drilling lubricant spill into Marsh Creek continues, so too do the investigations at Shoen Road where Sunoco has breached the aquifer and mud emerged from the ground while drilling on Saturday.
In a bold-faced life Sunoco claims they did not breach the aquifer, though they did it in 2017 and 2019 in their previous failed attempts and 250,000 gallons of water has been flowing back through the pilot hole and is being pumped 24/7 from drill pit.
And why isn’t the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection doing the appropriate analysis to determine an inadvertent return?
Time for the DEP to pull the permits
“This is an example of the crisis of our time. The people of Pennsylvania have a right to clean air and pure water, public health, safety and private property.
“Yet the priority seems to be protecting a multi-national, private, for-profit corporation, which then exploits and degrades our resources, our quality of life and our health and safety. Who does our government work for?”
~ Ginny Kerslake 8/14/2020
So what is Ginny talking about? Why the fouling of Marsh Creek by Sunoco/Energy Transfer this week. Lots of us, myself included have kept kids away from beautiful Marsh Creek since the polluting event this week.
Marsh Creek. A simply beautiful place loaded with wildlife. Where drinking water lives.
I first learned about Marsh Creek in my early 20s. I had a roommate back then who had grown up in the Downingtown area. Her mother worked for the EPA, so they were a family who completely respected the majesty of nature and were pro-environment back then.
Marsh Creek State Park was developed to help manage the water resources in the Brandywine Creek Watershed. Frequent flooding, water shortages, and lack of recreational opportunities were problems in the watershed.
The park was formerly a combination of rolling, wooded hills and small farms located on both sides of the Marsh Creek valley. The former village of Milford Mills is now under 30 to 50 feet of water. All of the buildings were removed; leaving only a few roads, foundations, and the embankments to the Larkin’s Bridge under the lake.
The lake was created by the damming of Marsh Creek. Construction of the dam occurred between May 1970 and June 1973. The impoundment is a 90-foot-high, 990-foot-long earth and rock fill dam on Marsh Creek, a tributary of the East Branch of Brandywine Creek.
On November 16, 1973, the gates of the dam were closed. The lake reached normal pool stage 218 days later on June 21, 1974.
At normal pool elevation of 359.5 feet above sea level, the impoundment covers an area of 535 acres plus a 25-acre wetland. The lake volume is 13,000 acre-feet (4.4 billion gallons) with a maximum depth of 80 feet at the dam.
The Marsh Creek watershed comprises 20 square miles of the Brandywine Creek watershed, which is part of the Delaware River Basin.
~ Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
My friend historian Catherine Quillman wrote a book about Milford Mills.
Way back in the first half of the 19th century, there was the tiny town of Milford Mills. A little village, really.
Little houses in the midst of sprawling farm country. A one room school house, a bridge, a general school.
Only in Your State says “Local legend also tells of a majestic mansion with 44 rooms. It was here, so goes the story, that supposed gangster Max Boo Boo Huff spent five years – from 1930 to 1935 – in the mansion, running a modern-day bar during Prohibition. Huff’s departure gave way to a new owner who turned the mansion into a resort.”
The village of Milford Mills existed until around 1970 when federal and local authorities decided a dam and a reservoir would be built there. The plans for Marsh Creek Dam meant the end of Milford Mills. I am told residents tried to fight it, but they lost and the village was razed. The dam was built and the man-made lake began to fill up with water. In 1974 or so the Marsh Creek Lake had a reported 100,000 fish added to it. The remnants of Milford Mills became the ghost town under the lake.
Marsh Creek was built to address water issues. It was built to provide drinking water for the Chester County Resources Authority. Apparently, previously there had been shortages. Also addressed by the creation of Marsh Creek? Alleviation of seasonal flooding. Of course I have to wonder given the intensity of infill development including around Marsh Creek if that still helps as much as they had thought it would. The park was also created and there are all sorts of things to do there. You can hike around and look at the ruins of Milford Mills, picnic, swim, sail, fish.
So when I first saw Marsh Creek it was I guess the late 1980s. I was in awe of how pretty it was plus fascinated by the mob stories and probable urban legend of wise guys ending up in the lake.
But now what lies ahead for Marsh Creek? How fouled is the water? Will we ever really know? What we do know is thanks to the brilliant activists.
Drilling fluid used in Sunoco Pipeline LP’s Mariner East project in Chester County leaked into Marsh Creek Lake in a state park of the same name on Monday — one of three incidents in recent days along the pipeline construction project route.
Virginia Cain, a spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, said the agency is investigating the three incidents, which occurred at two project sites, in West Whiteland and Upper Uwchlan Townships.
The DEP said the first leak occurred on the 100 block of Shoen Road in West Whiteland on Saturday. Both the DEP and the Fish and Boat Commission responded and tested water to see if it contained drilling fluids. Drilling was stopped to await an analysis of the liquid.
~ Philadelphia Inquirer 8/11/2020
And this heinous fouling of Marsh Creek Lake is not the only pipeline problem this summer. More and more sinkholes keep cropping up:
Pennsylvania pipeline inspectors announced Friday that they are investigating a new series of sinkholes that have opened up along Sunoco Pipeline LP’s Mariner East project route in Chester County after cracks were reported in the pavement of Business Route 30 in Exton, impacting some traffic.
Public Utility Commission safety inspectors are investigating subsidence that has occurred since July 10 in places where the controversial pipeline is under construction. The incidents happened not far from the West Whiteland Township location where sinkholes formed over the last two years, forcing several construction halts and service disruptions on the operating pipelines.
~ Philadelphia Inquirer 7/17/2020
I just. Can’t. Even. What in the hell has to happen to be enough? Is this enough to get these people out of our communities? These pipelines are the things you hear about, but if you don’t live close enough to a pipeline site you think we are all a collective of drama queens.
I used to think that it was mostly drama before I moved to Chester County. I thought “oh it can’t possibly be that bad.” Then there are the moments that stick in your head. One such moment occurred for me a couple of years ago. We invited Adelphia Gateway which wishes to do Sunoco-like projects to a parlor meeting in my living room. My friend Ginny sat on my sofa with tears in her eyes as she recounted what had happened to her and her family at the hands of pipelines at that point.
This parlor meeting was July 25, 2018. I will note that questions we gave to the PR talking head sent to handle us have to date never, ever been answered. Adelphia Gateway will have my entire neighborhood within a blast zone if they proceed, and we are on wells. There is not public water for us so what has happened this week on Shoen Road and at Marsh Creek is EXACTLY what I worry about along with the sinkholes and well, the very real fear of any of these lines blowing up.
Anti-pipeline activists are still painted as these awful people. Ladies and gentleman, they are your neighbors. People you socialize with. Go to church with. Your friends. My friends.
For the recent primary election, the pipeline proponents, supporters, etc spent a crazy amount of money to try to still our voices by attacking candidates who speak for us. Ginny Kerslake did not prevail in the end in the primary against sheeple Kristine Howard, but my other friend Danielle Friel Otten did survive and crushed her opponent. If that pro-pipeline money had NOT been spent, I believe Kristine Howard would have gone down in flames. She still can if people are now smart and get behind a third friend, Wendy Graham Leland. I know it is only a matter of time before Camp Lameass Howard starts in on her. I wish them luck there, but I digress. I know some amazing women, but I digress again. (Sorry I do that sometimes.)
Lookee here however, remember that the politics intertwined in the pipeline issues are very important. It’s a ridiculous game of who is on first.
People, we need to be first.
Please call on our leaders to demand Governor Wolf Pull the Mariner East Permits PERMANENTLY:
The pipeline leak into Marsh Creek earlier this week was an avoidable water emergency. To make matters worse, Marsh Creek is a source of drinking water for people in that community. Sunoco/Energy Partners demonstrates by their actions that they have little regard for the impact their negligence has on the community.
The issue surrounding water in Chester County is at its tipping point and is nothing less than a PA Constitution crisis. It is possible to support progress and be good stewards of our natural resources at the same time. In fact, our PA Constitution demands it, Article I, Section 27 says: “The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.”….AQUA is also engaging in a hostile takeover effort of our local water authority, Chester Water Authority (CWA). You may have seen the many, many SAVE CWA and Save Octoraro Reservoir yard signs in yards and on highways. AQUA wants to buy CWA. AQUA wants CWA because it stands to make billions on the deal, pulling vast amounts of money out of our fragile local economy. It also wants valuable public natural resources including the Octoraro Reservoir and 2000 acres of CWA land assets…..Will our water be sent to Northern Chester County for fracking?
~ Richard Ruggieri candidate for State Representative for District 13, learn more about him and his campaign at RuggieriPA13.com. 8/13/2020
Sunoco/Energy Transfer, the company behind the problematic and controversial Mariner East pipeline project, is in business with Aqua America, which provides water service to thousands of residents in Chester County, state Sen. Andy Dinniman revealed Friday.
“It is important that citizens know the relationship between companies involved with the Mariner East pipeline,” Dinniman said.
According to Energy Transfer’s 2018 annual report, the company owns a 51 percent stake in Aqua – ETC Water solutions, characterized as a “joint venture that transports and supplies fresh water to natural gas producers drilling in the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania.”
~ Daily Local News 6/28/2019
Talk about an unholy alliance, right? So Sunoco/Energy Transfer fouls the water. AQUA PA is public water and they are trying to take over the Chester Water Authority ? So that also guilt by association (or investment) means they are fouling Marsh Creek and so on but then they would have control over our water if AQUA PA takes over CWA?
Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ. (Yes I am an Outlander fan.) But seriously? You can’t make this stuff up! We are living it! And to what end? The destruction of where we call home and our water resources for freaking corporate profits?
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has responded to several reports of fluid discharges at construction sites for the Mariner East pipeline system in Chester County, including a confirmed spill at a state park.
Operation at the drill site has been suspended indefinitely.
Harrisburg, PA — The Departments of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and Environmental Protection (DEP) assured Marsh Creek State Park supporters that concerted efforts are underway to safeguard visitors and park resources in the wake of Monday’s pipeline drilling fluid spill affecting the lake; and that Energy Transfer will be held accountable to the full extent of the law.
“We are deeply concerned and troubled over this significant resource and recreation impact at Marsh Creek that comes at a time when that park, as are all our parks, is seeing incredible visitation rates amid the pandemic,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “Drawing more than 1 million visitors a year, Marsh Creek is among our most visited park, and water-based activities are the catalyst for that draw.
“The popularity of paddle-boarding alone is phenomenal at Marsh Creek Lake, and anglers and other boaters can be found daily on the lake. Containment, water testing, and remediation are underway, and access to affected water and shoreline will be restricted.”
Noting the park’s connecting trails and other strong ties to surrounding communities, Dunn said, “DCNR recognizes this park is beloved by those who live nearby and is an important resource to the people and businesses of surrounding communities. I feel it is important to let them know we’re standing by them on this.”
On Monday, August 10, DEP responded to a report from Sunoco of a potential inadvertent return at HDD 290, a drill site off Green Valley Road in Marsh Creek State Park in Upper Uwchlan Township, Chester County. Operation at the drill site has been suspended indefinitely.
Used in Sunoco Pipeline LP’s Mariner East project in Chester County, an estimated 8,100 gallons of drilling fluid (mud and water) leaked into wetlands off park property and into a tributary to Marsh Creek Lake. The spill is affecting the lake’s cove area along Park Road.
What’s The Status
Buoys will be used on the lake to delineate the affected area.
Approximately 33 acres of the 535-acre lake is now off-limits to boating and fishing.
Offering a swimming pool, the park does not permit beach-based swimming. Boating and fishing still is permitted on the rest of the lake, and the park remains open to all other activities.
“With the assistance of DEP, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, private contractors, and our park personnel, we are focusing on containment, cleanup, and remediation, and we need the public’s cooperation,” Dunn said. “Aiding that effort are DCNR park managers and rangers, as well as our aquatic specialists who will be gauging the spill’s effect on water quality and lake aquatic life.”
What’s Being Done
DEP, along with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC), continue to investigate and oversee the cleanup of the inadvertent return into Marsh Creek, said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell.
At the conclusion of the investigation, DEP anticipates that there will be civil penalties and potentially other regulatory ramifications.
Drilling activity at the site has ceased until further notice.
“Since the spill occurred on Monday, clean-up crews have made significant progress in collecting and containing spilled material. DEP aquatic biologists have been onsite since the beginning of the incident to assess the spill and ensure that cleanup activities are conducted properly. Downstream drinking water intakes have been notified and there are no concerns about drinking water safety. There have not been any complaints of impacted private water wells,” McDonnell said. “DEP is also actively coordinating with experts at DCNR, Department of Health, Army Corps of Engineers, and Public Utility Commission to ensure that the ongoing situation is managed consistently and safely. DEP has consistently held Sunoco accountable for violations and will do so in this instance as well.”
Located in northcentral Chester County, Marsh Creek’s lake and 1,784 acres offer a refuge for migrating waterfowl and also are popular with hikers, hunters, and picnickers.
More information about Marsh Creek and Pennsylvania’s other 120 state parks is available on the DCNR website.
MEDIA CONTACT: Terry Brady, DCNR, 717-877-6315; Virginia Cain, DEP, 484-868-2452
WEST WHITELAND — Sunoco/Energy Transfer workers hit and breached an underground aquifer at Shoen Road which since then has fouled 250,000 gallons per day of fresh drinking water, according to State Sen. Danielle Friel Otten, D-155th, of Uwchlan, and Shoen Road resident Ginny Kerslake.
The two women estimate that 50 trucks, with a capacity of 5,000 gallons each, have daily been removing water from the drill site of the Sunoco Mariner East pipeline.
Sunoco/ET spokesperson Lisa Coleman responded with a one-sentence comment.
“We did not impact the aquifer at Shoen Road,” wrote Coleman on Aug. 11.
UPPER UWCHLAN—On Friday morning, local public officials and legislators paddled to the site of Monday’s Marsh Creek Sunoco pipeline construction spill of about 10,000 gallons of drilling mud to monitor the mitigation process.
State Rep Danielle Friel Otten, D-155th, of Uwchaln and state Sen. Katie Muth, D-44th, of Royersford invited the dignitaries to view the damage and cleanup firsthand. They visited the popular state park lake via paddleboards, kayaks and canoes.
State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-157th, of Schuylkill said that the 10,000 gallon spill is alarming.
“I’m here to make sure our public parks are clean and the air around them is clean so people can enjoy,” she said. “Public parks are for all of us to enjoy.”
State Rep. Greg Vitali, D-166th of Haverford, discussed meeting climate change goals.
“We can’t continue to build fossil fuel infrastructure and reach our goals,” he said.
“Marsh Creek is a valuable ecological and recreation area and I was very concerned when I learned of the spill.
“I wanted to see firsthand the extent of the damage and the progress of cleanup efforts. I was pleased to see both cleanup workers and representatives of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection on the scene….In addition to Friel Otten, Muth, Vitali, Shusterman and D’Amico, state Rep. Dan Williams, D-74th, of Coatesville came out, as well as Chairman Bill Miller from Uwchlan Township and Rebecca Britton, Vice President of Downingtown Area School Board.
~ Bill Retter, Daily Local News 8/14/2020
So…who was NOT there at Marsh Creek today?HOW ABOUT STATE REPRESENTATIVE KRISTINE HOWARD? KRISTINE, IF IT ISN’T A PHOTO OP WITH GOVERNOR TOM WOLF AND CAROLYN COMITTA YOU CAN’T BE BOTHERED?
PLEASE VIEW THIS NEXT SCREEN SHOT WHILE IMAGINING BARBARA STREISAND SINGING “MEMORIES”:
While we are on the topic of who has and has not been to Marsh Creek can we mention that Governor Tom Wolf and Attorney General Josh Shapiro should have been there over the past few days?
Enough is enough #WaterIsLife #DefendWhatYouLove
I do not know about you but I am over this pipeline bullsheit. Over it. Ever new adventure in the land of pipeline drama is worse than the last. These pipeline companies are destroying where we live and don’t try to spin the crap that they employ locally unless Oklahoma and all the other states that make up the out of state license plates are suddenly IN Chester County?
We put our lives and sweat equity into where we call home. So why is it government is just allowing it all to be destroyed? Systemic corruption? Greed? What?
I don’t know where to go in my head. I grew up around oil companies. My father did PR for one for years. Years. But all the pipelines I ever knew about then were petroleum. Like the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, which started operating in 1977. Of course in that same vein, I remember the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in 1989. And I remember how the guy driving the tanker (while drinking) got off without felony charges.
As my friends from Just The Facts Please said regarding this latest jackassery word puzzle from Energy Transfer:
These [idiots] just can’t help themselves with their lies and stupidly worded statements. Marsh Creek IS an important drinking water source for this region. But I guess Kelcy Warren wouldn’t know that from his tower in Texas.
ETP states, “As a clarification to some public statements that have been made, no public drinking water has been impacted.”
So where in the Sam Hell do we go from here? I don’t know about you but I want these pipeline operators GONE. As in FOR GOOD. #SafetyOverSunoco #SoOverSuNOco
I know this is a ridiculously long post and I have meandered like a stream. But this Marsh Creek thing makes my head spin. This has to stop. Our elected officials need to man and woman up and kick the pipelines the hell out of Pennsylvania, starting with where we call home, Chester County, PA.
A place where the above photo was shared had a couple of people who left a “laughing” emoji where you can like this post or find it sad or find it angry. To them I say there is nothing funny about this and you don’t have to like every post anyone posts – but at least TRY to be understanding of what other folks not too far away from you are dealing with. It could be your family, your neighborhood, your house affected.
Someone else made a comment about these pipelines and rights of way. Umm land agents and threats of eminent domain for non-compliance with these corporate bullies does not equal a traditional right of way does it?
I didn’t really understand this issue until I moved into Chester County. And while I am blessed that I don’t have one of these things going THROUGH my property, if the Adelphia pipeline comes through I will be in a potential “blast zone” with one of these pipelines either 1030 feet from a corner of our property or 1060 feet. We are also on wells where I live.
I have a friend who lives up the road apiece from me into West Whiteland Township. When she and her husband bought their house no one told them about the pipeline easement on the property. As in it didn’t show up at the settlement table from either realtor. They are barely in their house a hot minute and Sunoco/Sunoco Logistics/Energy Transfer shows up. As it turned out, the people they bought the house from had sold an easement to the pipeline company maybe a year or less prior. Now she has a ticking time bomb in her front yard.
These pipelines are dangerous and they pollute our wells, they are problematic and sinkholes occur because of how they are digging (in disregard for the geological composition of the area), roads have had visible issues in spots and the “plans” for first responders won’t save anyone including them and oh how about they are drilling right next to Goshen Fire Company at Boot and Greenhill in West Chester? What happens if something happens there? Who will save the first responders?
They ARE drilling next to schools, libraries and so on. You may have even driven by a site where they are working and not realized what’s going on behind giant temporary construction walls that to us never seem temporary at this point.
If and when there is an explosion do you think the people on the road driving by are going to be any safer than the rest of us?
And then of course there is the giant fairytale that these companies like to tell everyone which is you’re getting gas, etc because of these pipelines. What is being taken from the ground here and shipped through these pipelines through residential neighborhoods is going overseas. To places like Scotland to make plastic.
And the other fable they like to tell is how this brings lots of local jobs. All you have to do is drive by a site and count the out-of-state plates. And I’m not talking New Jersey and Delaware out of state I’m talking Oklahoma,Texas and so on where the wildcatters are from.
My mother, who lives in the city, was stunned at what she saw when we were driving back from a Christmas lunch in West Chester a week ago. She couldn’t believe what she saw and compared it to the issues and conditions with coal mining companies in PA in the 19th century (the Molly Maguires era).
I think we all in this area have to become more informed on what is going on with regard to this issue even if it’s not in our backyard literally.
The above photo was originally posted by someone else with the following:
My neighborhood has been held hostage by Sunoco/Energy Transfer for over 2.5 YEARS now… with no end in sight.
This dangerous export pipeline project claimed eminent domain for overseas plastics production. It carries highly explosive and highly pressurized by-broducts of fracking.
Sunoco continues to cause sinkholes, contaminate private drinking water, drilling mud spills, etc. They are an egregious operator who’s latest illegal tactics include false reports to law enforcement authorities.
We want our backyards back. We want our safety back. We want our clean air & water back. We want our peace & quiet back.
So when this all first started, residents were told “you won’t even notice we’re here.”
Did you know on a clear and quiet day if they are working in a neighboring Township I can actually hear the rhythmic thump thump thump of whatever that machine is they use to move the pipeline along￼?
I will also share what a lovely lady I am privileged to know named Carrie wrote the other day. These are her words and her photo:
#CleanWater is a human right.
We stand in solidarity with our friends David Warren, David Mano, Rosemary Fuller, Erica Tarr, Ralph Blume and many others across Pennsylvania who have had their private well water contaminated by the destruction of the dangerous Mariner East export pipeline project.
In 2010 the United Nations General Assembly explicitly recognized the human right to water and sanitation and acknowledged that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realization of all human rights.* There are many families throughout the United States who are currently living without clean water. Industries, like the fossil fuel industry and other resource extraction industries, have continued unchecked to contaminate our water resources.
There are too many examples of a lack of clean water. Here in Pennsylvania, fracking and pipelines, like the Mariner East Pipeline Project have poisoned people’s aquifers and have left residents to fend for themselves. In fact, some may be drinking poisoned water and they do not know it yet. Leaving individuals and families without clean water is unacceptable. Clean water is our right and we need to hold policy makers accountable.
Two states and only a handful of municipalities have legally established their rights into local constitutions and municipal regulations. For example, in Pennsylvania’s constitution
“The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.**”
**Article I, section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution
Thanks for listening and thank you to our founding fathers for our First Amendment Rights.
Something occurred to me the other day. And I am not a psychologist or expert in the field of how negativity affects people, especially where they live, so these are merely my opinions and observations.
We live in an area that was bucolic and peaceful. Agricultural and equine heritage and traditions. It is now being overrun by development. Every time you turn around, another community is threatened. That is stressful if you are directly affected/impacted, and it can raise your blood pressure just driving by a place where you used to see cows, or horses swishing their tails while they grazed to seeing how it is now just a big pit of scraped earth or budding Tyvec-wrapped communities where everyone is or will be jammed in like lemmings.
And then there are all of the pipeline sites. They are ugly and raw and NOISY. People’s property values are declining, their wells being poisoned by whatever the heck it all is they drill with (there are enough articles in local papers etc about this, right?) And we can’t forget the sinkholes. When I was first coming out to Chester County before I moved here, I used to love when I turned on 352 off of West Chester Pike if I came that way. All of a sudden it was just green with rolling stretches of lawn and trees. Now it is a raped landscape that actually stresses me out just driving by it, so I can’t even imagine how directly affected residents feel.
Or other area stressers like contested sites within municipalities where state agencies like PennDOT are concerned. Take the site of Route 352 (A/K/A N. Chester R or Sproul Rd) and King Road in Malvern. This directly affects residents in East Whiteland and East Goshen.
And here we are at year end and no one knows what is happening for sure at that intersection, and that includes the directly affected residents. Will they face any eminent domain? Will they face a complete loss of certain properties through eminent domain? It’s a big mystery. And I watch email after email by affected residents go by to municipal officials and PennDOT. PennDOT never replies. It is like they are ignoringthe residents utterly and completely, which adds to the feelings of stress, dismay and uncertainty.
Is it just me or have any of you noticed how people aren’t putting up their usual Christmas displays in some of these areas targeted by pipelines, development, construction, and PennDOT? This is what I have noticed, and it bums me out to see houses usually bright and cheery at the holidays look dark and sad. But in all fairness, if you were facing any of these things, how cheerful and full of Christmas spirit would you feel?
Life can be hard, that is the reality of life. But for a lot of these people, it shouldn’t be so hard. These folks moved here and bought their homes to raise their families. Their piece of the American Dream. You live right, pay your taxes, are part of your community. And your home is indeed your castle, and for a lot of these people there are quite literally barbarians at the gate.
Elected officials NEED to think about how these scenarios are affecting their constituents. All they have to do is drive by and notice how the longer these negative issues persist, how they affect people. Real people. People who in a lot of cases voted for them. It shows in the little things like gardening and holiday decorations. I think it is criminal to drive by homes where you know the owners were once so house proud and see these changes.
Just some of life’s little observations. Wishing these people peace.