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March 07, 2015

Sunoco concedes in pipeline zoning fight

Environment Pipeline
030715_pipeline Sunoco Logistics/State Impact

the Mariner 1 pipeline is partially online, but needs several additions to remain up and running.

After environmental groups and communities raised sharp objections to the zoning of a natural gas pipeline by Sunoco Logistics, State Impact reports the Philadelphia-based company has backed down. 

While the 300-mile Mariner East 1 natural gas liquids pipeline partially came online last year, another 15 pump and valve control structures are required to keep it up and running. Sunoco Logistics made a request to the state Public Utility Commission to bypass local zoning for the additions, but has now withdrawn the case amid the backlash. 
“Sunoco Logistics has been committed to cooperating with municipalities to address their respective needs and concerns,” company spokesman Jeff Shields wrote in an email.
The company said it intends to continue with the project, raising doubts about its next moves. The PUC ruled last year that although the Sunoco Logistics pipeline was not itself subject to zoning, the structures housing its pump stations potentially could be. 

Opponents of the project, such as the Chester County Community Coalition, suspect that Sunoco Logistics may now attempt to complete the pipeline installations without the aforementioned housing structures to shield equipment from the elements. 

Read the full State Impact story here