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Our look at construction of the


The initial Sunoco Logistics Mariner East pipeline was constructed to deliver ethane and propane from Marcellus Shale gas wells to the Marcus Hook facility where it will be processed and stored until distribution can take place to foreign and domestic markets.

Initially the pipeline will have capacity for 70,000 barrels (2.94 million gallons) per day of NGL (natural gas liquids) with the potential for increased capacity. Initial estimates include the transport of propane in late-2014 with the addition of ethane transportation beginning in the first half of 2015. Ethane is used to manufacture plastics.

The pipeline will run from the MarkWest Gas Plant in Houston, Pennsylvania to an existing gas processing facility in Delmont, Pennsylvania. From Delmont the NGL will enter an existing Sunoco pipeline and be transported to Sunoco Logistics' SPMT terminal river port in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania and Claymont, Delaware.


August 19, 2016

Opponents, proponents of pipeline have their say at DEP hearing

By Don Hopey / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Opponents of Sunoco Logistics' $2.5 billion Mariner 2 gas pipeline project said permit applications are incomplete, and asked the state to extend the public review and comment period for another 60 days.

John Poister, a state Department of Environmental Protection spokesman, said the requests would be reviewed along with the other comments at the hearing Thursday evening.

The DEP hearing in Youngwood, Westmoreland County, was the last of five the department has held on the pipeline project. The project involves construction of two new large pipelines, each 350 miles long, across the length of the state in 17 southern tier counties, including Washington and Westmoreland counties in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania DEP documents:

Project Description

Sunoco Pipeline, L.P. (SPLP) proposes to construct and operate the Pennsylvania Pipeline Project that would expand existing pipeline systems to provide natural gas liquid (NGL) transportation of up to 350,000 (14.7 million gallons) barrels per day. The project involves the installation of approximately two parallel pipelines within a 306-mile, 50-foot-wide right-of-way (ROW) from

Houston, Washington County, Pennsylvania (PA) to SPLP’s Marcus Hook facility in Delaware County, PA with the purpose of interconnecting with existing SPLP Mariner East pipelines. A 20-inch diameter pipeline would be installed within the ROW from Houston to Marcus Hook (306 miles) and a second, 16-inch diameter pipeline, will also be installed in the same ROW. The second line is proposed to be installed from SPLP’s Delmont Station, Westmoreland County, PA to the Marcus Hook facility, paralleling the initial line for approximately 255 miles. Construction activities will involve clearing and grubbing, trenching, pipe installation, site restoration, and access road construction/improvement. Erosion and sediment controls will be in place during earth disturbance activities. Following completion of pipeline installation, the

area will be returned to the general grade present prior to pipeline installation in order to maintain preconstruction elevations and drainage patterns. Disturbed areas will be seeded and mulched. Erosion and sedimentation control devices will be maintained until site work is complete and revegetation is successful. The project will be constructed for 109 miles in the PADEP Southwest Region. The project disturbance by county is as follows:

Washington County: 189 acres, Houston Injection Station 2.70 acres (Total 192 acres)

Allegheny County: 98 acres

Westmoreland County: 378 acres, Delmont Pump Station 10.80 acres (Total 389 acres)

Indiana County: 203 acres

Cambria County: 245 acres, Ebensburg Pump Station 4.44 acres (Total 250 acres)

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court
July 14, 2016

Dissenting opinion by Judge Patricia A. McCullough:

“The assertion that ME2 will have several new “on and off” ramp locations so as to ostensibly provide intrastate service, is, at the preliminary hearing stage, insufficient to counter the recent representation Sunoco made to the Court of Common Pleas of York County that ME2 was exclusively interstate. In order to uphold the invocation of the power of eminent domain, the justification must be genuine and real, not hypothesized, or invented post hoc in response to litigation. See Middletown Township v. Lands of Stone, 939 A.2d 331, 338 (Pa. 2007); see also United States v. Virginia, 518 US 515, 533 (1996).

Additionally, I am troubled by Sunoco’s failure to obtain any PUC recognition that ME2 is within the ambit of the “intrastate” service it now professes it plans to provide, as well as its failure to obtain any certificate of public convenience (CPC) to expressly authorize it to exercise the power of eminent domain. As can be gleaned from the Majority’s opinion, Sunoco has cobbled together various CPCs since the 1930’s, but never sought a CPC or any other PUC approval granting it the ability to exercise eminent domain within the Commonwealth. Most certainly, Sunoco never sought authority to exercise eminent domain as to ME2. Rather, Sunoco would have this Court confer such power upon it on the basis of vague, non-specific language in a PUC Order dated October 29, 2014, which was entered as part of Sunoco’s post-Loper procedural posturing. I believe this violates the spirit if not the letter of Section 1104 of the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa.C.S. §1104.

I would also note that the cases cited by the Majority to analogize this case to other instances of concurrent interstate and intrastate activity by business entities are clearly distinguishable in that none of the cases so cited involved the exercise of eminent domain powers to take private property. Private ownership of property is a fundamental right under the U.S. Constitution, and as noted by my colleague, Judge Brobson, in his dissent, a right that is zealously protected under the Pennsylvania Constitution as well. The Majority’s decision, I fear, will gravely undermine that right.

Accordingly, I would reverse the trial court’s decision and sustain Appellee’s preliminary objection that Sunoco is collaterally estopped from re-litigating the interstate nature of ME2. I would also caution Sunoco not to bypass the PUC should it desire to pursue this matter further and obtain, in the first instance, the proper authority from the PUC to exercise eminent domain powers with respect to ME2 before it targets private property within the Commonwealth and seeks to deprive Commonwealth citizens of their fundamental right to own the same.”

Complete PDF of court document



SPILL - September 2014

VIDEO: Sunoco Pipeline bentonite blowout into Little Mingo Creek

Bentonite spill
Cleanup workers hosed down a 2-mile section of Little Mingo Creek and staged temporary dams to trap the gray clay in order to vacuum it out of the water.
Patterson Road near Rt 88 Finleyville
Black substance oozing out along with gray bentonite clay

DEP fines Sunoco $95,000 for Mariner East spills

Industrial waste from drilling reached Mingo Creek

By Scott Beveridge, Staff Writer
June 25, 2015

Sunoco Logistics has been fined $95,000 by the state Department of Environmental Protection for a series of industrial waste spills during construction of the Mariner East pipeline in Washington, Allegheny and Westmoreland counties. The Sinking Spring-based company also must reimburse conservation districts in Washington and Allegheny counties $1,012.00 and $894.00, respectively, for their costs to respond to the spills of nontoxic bentonite, also known as drilling mud, the DEP consent agreement states.

The spills took place last year while Sunoco was building a 53-mile pipeline from Houston to Delmont to ship Marcellus Shale natural gas byproducts to Delaware. The company should have taken precautionary measures to prevent the spills that reached roads, waterways and wetlands, the document indicates. One of the six spills resulted in the release of more than 5,000 gallons of industrial waste into Froman Run in Union Township Sept. 18, a spill that trailed for 1.6 miles and reached Mingo Creek.


August 29, 2014
Project Mariner East 2

“Project Mariner East 2 will accomplish this goal through two components: (1) developing a pipeline from Scio, Ohio to the SPMT terminal and (2) modifying the pipeline from Houston, Pennsylvania to the SPMT terminal, including converting this pipeline from mixed propane and ethane service to ethane service exclusively. These components will significantly expand the system’s capacity to move ethane, propane and butane.

Propane may also be piped to a new propane cracking facility that is being considered for construction at the SPMT terminal. If approved, Project Mariner East 2 will aid in alleviating the serious ongoing challenge to natural gas production in the Marcellus and Utica Shale.

Project Mariner East 2 is designed to provide a pipeline outlet for ethane, propane and butane from the rich natural gas fields of the Marcellus Shale and Utica Shale in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. Interstate movements through Project Mariner East 2 will traverse the pipeline to the inlet flange of the Sunoco Partners Marketing & Terminals L.P. terminal (“SPMT Terminal”) in Claymont, Delaware. Project Mariner East 2 is an expansion of SPLP’s original Project Mariner East.2  An expansion of the original Project Mariner East is warranted by a significant increase in shipper demand for additional capacity to move volumes of ethane, propane and butane (“Product”) using the project. As set forth in the Petition for Declaratory Order for Project Mariner East, the original Project Mariner East (which is scheduled to go into service in 2015) was designed to move ethane and propane from the Marcellus and Utica Shale to the SPMT Terminal. Project Mariner East 2 will increase the capacity of Project Mariner East for ethane and propane while adding butane as a transported product."




Sunoco Logistics Mariner East Pipeline


The Mariner East Pipeline originates at the
MarkWest Gas Plant in Houston, Pennsylvania
Markwest Plant is the origin of the Mariner East pipeline to Delmont


Pipeline Excavation Work along the way
Mariner East pipeliners
Mariner East pipe
Sunoco pipeline work


The Sunoco Mariner East Pipeline
terminates in Delmont, Pennsylvania
at an existing Sunoco pipeline
Delmont Pennsylvania gas facility
Expansion of Delmont gas compression and pipeline transportation



Gas pipelines


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