This article can be found published on the Daily Local News‘ website, the Delaware County Daily Times‘ website and The Mercury‘s website.
WEST GOSHEN — Sunoco Logistics officials were on hand at West Chester University’s Sykes Student Union to answer questions from Chester County residents regarding the Mariner East 2 pipeline project Monday night.
“These are the last of the county-by-county meetings we have been doing for landowners,” said Jeff Shields, communications director for Sunoco Logistics. “As we start the land acquisition process and we start knocking on people’s doors and sending them letters, we like to have these meetings to tell them exactly what’s going on, what our plans are and what we do, in terms of building the pipeline, operating the pipeline and our safety measures.”
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The Mariner East 1 pipeline, which is already being used, runs from western Pennsylvania to the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex, approximately 300 miles.
This pipeline, which has been in place for decades, utilizes mostly existing 8-inch-diameter steel pipeline, aside from 51 miles of a new 12-inch-diameter steel pipe between Washington and Westmoreland counties.
Now, Sunoco is working on its planned Mariner East 2 project — a $2.5 billion new underground pipeline running roughly 350 miles, from Ohio through West Virginia and ending at Marcus Hook.
Mariner 2 will be a 20-inch pipeline moving pretty much alongside Mariner East 1.
Sunoco is looking to supply more propane to meet demand on the market.
“Basically, Mariner East 2 will provide that,” said Donald Zoladkiewicz of Sunoco Logistics community affairs. “Marcus Hook has always been a spot that made propane available to the marketplace, but it will be increased and adding two more locations where we can move propane to the marketplace.”
The pipelines, both Mariner East 1 and 2, will be shipping natural gas liquids of propane, ethane and butane.
Mariner East 1 currently moves propane and is scheduled to ship ethane as well by the end of September.
Right now, Sunoco is in the process of getting the land needed to place the new pipeline, which will affect 10 townships in Chester County — Elverson, West Nantmeal, East Nantmeal, Wallace, Upper Uwchlan, Uwchlan, West Whiteland, West Goshen, East Goshen and Westtown.
“Basically what we are doing is working with landowners and we’ve begun easement acquisitions to be able to place additional lines in the ground,” Zoladkiewicz said. “In many cases, we do have easements that would allow for it to be done.”
What Sunoco is looking to do is establish a consistent easement corridor of 50 feet. It also wants an additional 25 feet as part of a temporary easement to use as construction space.
“In many cases, 50 (feet easements) already exists,” Zoladkiewicz said. “Mariner East 2 corridor will basically overlay the existing corridor that is out there.”
Mariner East 2 is not planned to have a pumping station or a vapor combustion unit in Chester County.
Since the new pipeline will go under major highways, such as Routes 30 and 202, Sunoco will use a method of horizontal directional drilling (HDD).
HDD is typically used to install pipelines underneath roads, wetlands and waterways.
Sunoco will also use HDD to place the new pipeline under Boot Road and the pumping station.
“You’re not digging up Boot Road and creating a traffic nightmare,” Shields said. “It still could be difficult traffic-wise, but it has to be manageable for people.”
As part of the presentation, Sunoco had an open house as well for people to ask questions and a room was set up where residents could check to see if their property will be affected by Mariner East 2.
“That’s where they are going to find out exactly what’s happening with their property and that’s what they want to know,” Shields said. “Some people come in and they don’t know if they’ll be affected and they want to know.”
Sunoco, which has been doing these open houses across the pipeline areas, will also meet with Delaware County residents Wednesday.
“We just want them to have a broader understanding and be able to deal not with just the land agents that we have, but with our Sunoco officials here who can really tell them what they know,” Shields said. “We know we have a responsibility to be transparent with (the residents). We’re not required, per se, to have these meetings, but it’s the only way we can really imagine doing business because people need to have this information.”