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The Newest: Sunoco says deal will keep away from pipeline…

10 February 2018

"A permit suspension is one of the most significant penalties DEP can levy", McDonnell said in his Thursday statement.

DEP suspended all construction activities related to the pipeline project on January 3, after DEP reported multiple permit violations that had been committed by Sunoco throughout Dauphin and the 16 other counties where the pipeline is being built.

The decision, which cited unpermitted pipeline installation activities and unauthorized releases of drilling fluid, follows a previous suspension by state regulators of construction of a valve station on a portion of the line due to the release of drilling muds and sediment into streams there. "But we are going to continue our strict oversight".

As part of the agreement DEP has issued a $12.6 million civil penalty to Sunoco for permit violations related to the pipeline project, DEP said in a press release.

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"DEP did not discover the numerous violations that Sunoco was guilty of".

Minott dismissed the DEP's penalty as a "slap on the wrist" for a multinational corporation that has damaged wetlands, private property and in some cases private water wells with dozens of drilling mud spills along the 350-mile cross-state pipeline route.

"Since the permit suspension over a month ago, Sunoco has demonstrated that it has taken steps to ensure the company will conduct the remaining pipeline construction activities in accordance with the law and permit conditions, and will be allowed to resume", he said.

"While we strongly disagree with their legal conclusions that our conduct was willful or egregious, we felt it was important to our unit holders and to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that we move forward rather than engage in continued litigation", Shields said in the email.

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DEP temporarily halted construction on a section of the pipeline in Berks while it investigated the incident.

Food & Water Watch organizer Sam Rubin called the settlement an "outrageous deal" that put corporate profits ahead of safety.

On Thursday, DEP officials offered assurances that project oversight would not end and that work will be closely monitored to "ensure that Sunoco is meeting the terms of this agreement and its permits".

Dinniman's concerns were echoed by Del-Chesco United for Public Safety, a community group that says the pipeline represents a grave risk to public safety, especially in DE and Chester counties. They have been seeking an independent risk assessment study of the project. "With the stop-work order lifted, this project can get back on track and Pennsylvania's skilled laborers can get back to work".

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The Newest: Sunoco says deal will keep away from pipeline…