Sunoco Pipeline Updates

August 17, 2017

Drilling has resumed at Ship Road and behind the Laborer’s training site.  Drilling from Shoen Road north into Uwchlan Township is being re-evaluated, as required by the Consent Order and Agreement and the Stipulated Order by the PA EHB.  The PA Department of Environmental Protection will review information submitted by Sunoco regarding the Shoen Road drill path and eventually make a decision about whether Sunoco can resume drilling there.

August 8, 2017 

The PA Environmental Hearing Board approved a settlement agreed to by environmental groups, PA DEP and Sunoco. Sunoco agreed to re-evaluate a number of HDD sites, including the Shoen Road drill site in West Whiteland (which also is under a Consent Order and Agreement approved on July 24th.) They also agreed to notify more property owners along the alignment of the horizontal directional drilling before drilling begins. Exhibits related to the order are on the PA EHB website.

The PA EHB hearing scheduled for August 9th was cancelled.

August 7, 2017 

The PA Environmental Hearing Board has lifted the temporary suspension of horizontal directional drilling at a number of locations in PA, including at the Ship Road drilling site. 

All other horizontal directional drilling by Sunoco remains suspended until August 9th, the new date for the hearing on the permit appeal.

July 27, 2017

Sunoco to Restrict Boot Road and Ship Road in West Goshen and West Whiteland Townships, Chester County for existing pipeline maintenance.

Lane closures on Boot Road in West Goshen Township, and Ship Road in West Whiteland Township, Chester County, will occur on Mondays through Fridays from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, and Saturdays from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM, on Monday, July 31, through Friday, September 1, for utility work, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) today announced.

The work areas are:

  • Boot Road between U.S. 202 and Ship Road in West Goshen Township; and
  • Ship Road between Boot Road and Constitution Drive in West Whiteland Township.

Drivers are advised to allow extra time when traveling through the work areas. All scheduled activities are weather dependent.

Road restoration will follow at a future date and time.

July 25, 2017

The PA Environmental Hearing Board (EHB) issued an order temporarily suspending Sunoco’s permits for horizontal directional drilling in Pennsylvania until August 7th.  

Sunoco is permitted to periodically rotate the downhole drill bits or reamers and move them back and forth within the drill holes without advancing the drill hole or conducting additional drilling, to safeguard the integrity of the downhole equipment.

From August 7-9, 2017, a hearing on the appeal that led to this order is scheduled before the EHB.

July 24, 2017 

The PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) entered into a Consent Order and Agreement with Sunoco resulting from the private wells in West Whiteland impacted by Sunoco’s horizontal directional drilling.

Sunoco cannot resume drilling at the Shoen Road drill site until DEP authorizes them to do so.  They also must conduct a hydrogeological investigation of the identified aquifer(s) to determine what caused the impacts to the private wells.

DEP press release 

July 24, 2017

The PA Public Utility Commission (PUC) Administrative Law Judge issued an order enjoining Sunoco from proceeding with construction of a valve and appurtenant facilities and horizontal directional drilling on the Janiec 2 Tract in West Goshen Township. Information is available on West Goshen Township’s website.

July 20, 2017 - Aqua will begin installation of the new water main on Valley View Drive on Monday, July 24th.  Following completion and testing of the work, Valley View Drive will be paved. 

July 14, 2017 - West Whiteland Township hosted a meeting on July 13th for homeowners in the affected area who have wells.  Township officials announced that Sunoco will suspend drilling at the Shoen Road site until the private well issues are resolved.

Sunoco’s land agents have started contacting homeowners to explain the option of connecting to Aqua’s public water system at Sunoco’s expense.  A land agent also met with many of the homeowners following the public meeting at the Township Building. Sunoco’s offer will include compensation for water bills.

There are existing Aqua water mains on Township Line Road, Biddle Drive and Shoen Road.  Homeowners in proximity to those mains who decide to switch over to public water can begin the process of connecting to the system as soon as they want following completion of the Aqua application.  Aqua is moving quickly to install a new water main on Valley View Drive; that work is expected to be completed in early August. 

Aqua confirmed again that their water supply is safe.  They test their water regularly and have found no evidence of pathogens, turbidity or low water volume.  They have received one call in recent weeks from this area of Exton with a general complaint about the taste of the water.  Anyone with questions or concerns about the quality of their water can call Aqua’s Water Quality Services at 610-645-4248.

West Whiteland appreciates the time that the residents took to come out to the meeting, as well as the cooperation of Sunoco and Aqua to address the well issue expeditiously.

July 11, 2017 - West Whiteland Township officials have reached an agreement in principle with Sunoco Pipeline to address the concerns of residents with private water wells who have been affected by Sunoco Pipeline’s recent Mariner East 2 construction.  Sunoco Pipeline has indicated its willingness to work with West Whiteland Township and Aqua to connect those residents to Aqua’s public water system, at Sunoco’s expense.

It continues to appear that loss in water volume in private water wells was due to Sunoco’s construction operations.  There are no public health concerns that West Whiteland is aware of or reason to believe that water has been contaminated.  No properties connected to Aqua’s public water system have been impacted.

Township officials have been in close communication with Sunoco, Aqua and many of the property owners and will continue to do everything we can to encourage a satisfactory resolution.

July 7, 2017 - A number of homeowners on Township Line Road, Valley View Drive, Biddle Drive and Shoen Road that have well water have reported problems with low volume or muddy water.  As of July 7th, no properties on public water through Aqua are affected.  Sunoco Pipeline is awaiting test results to confirm that the mud appearing in the well water is, as expected, non-toxic naturally occurring bentonite clay used in drilling operations for their Mariner East 2 pipeline project.

West Whiteland Township does not have jurisdictional authority over this issue, but has been in close communication with Sunoco and many of the property owners.  To mitigate the most immediate problems, Sunoco has provided residents with clean drinking water, paid for repairs to wells and offered to put residents up in hotels. 

Longer term, the Township has asked Sunoco to connect homes with well water in the affected area to Aqua’s public water system at Sunoco’s cost, and they are looking into that option. The Township will continue to monitor the situation to ensure that residents are kept informed and will do everything we can to encourage a satisfactory resolution.