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Mariner East 2 spills more drilling fluid in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection on March 26 sent Energy Transfer Partners LP affiliate Sunoco Pipeline LP a notice of violation in connection with a spill from its Mariner East 2 natural gas liquids pipeline.

Sunoco informed the regulator of the spill on March 23 and after conducting an inspection, the agency concluded that the unintended release of less than one gallon of drilling fluids into a wetland in Shirley Township in Huntingdon County is in violation of the Clean Streams Law.

Drilling operations on the site has been suspended and a reevaluation called for as the spill occurred during the first pipe installation at the location.

Sunoco in February submitted a revised operations plan that included additional measures and controls that would place stricter adherence to permit conditions and minimize inadvertent releases of drilling materials and other environmental impacts in response to a work suspension, which was then lifted by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

The 350-mile NGL pipeline on March 15 released 200 gallons of drilling fluid 200 gallons into a Blair County wetland and at least 50 gallons into a Lebanon County trout stream, which resulted in another work suspension.

Mariner East 2 is a 345,000 barrel-per-day pipeline that would deliver ethane, propane and butane across 350 miles from southwest Pennsylvania to a marine terminal at Marcus Hook near Philadelphia for export.