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Pa. agency funds watershed projects using $12.6M fine against Mariner East 2

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Pa. agency funds watershed projects using $12.6M fine against Mariner East 2

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is funneling a $12.6 million penalty assessed against Sunoco Pipeline LP into 61 water quality and restoration projects in areas affected by construction work for the partnership's Mariner East 2 NGL pipeline project.

The Department of Environmental Protection in February fined the Energy Transfer Partners LP company for violations of its permit to build Mariner East 2, which included releases of drilling mud and chemicals into streams and wetlands. The agency has selected water quality, stormwater management and watershed restoration projects that would receive grants using the penalty.

"These projects do not absolve Sunoco of its responsibility to restore any damage to Pennsylvania waters and wetlands through the construction of the pipeline. But it is nice that this penalty could be put directly towards other deserving improvement projects in the communities along the right-of-way," Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell said in the release.

Recipients of the grants include county conservation districts, municipalities and nonprofit organizations. The projects include invasive species removal, forest restoration, reduction of farm-runoff pollution and other water quality-related activities. The selected projects are in Allegheny, Berks, Blair, Cambria, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Huntingdon, Indiana, Lancaster, Lebanon, Washington and Westmoreland counties in Pennsylvania.

Mariner East 2 is a 350-mile pipeline that will carry 345,000 barrels per day of ethane, propane and butane from southwest Pennsylvania to Marcus Hook near Philadelphia. It is expected to begin service in the fourth quarter.