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The original item was published from 7/20/2020 4:44:00 PM to 7/20/2020 4:44:31 PM.

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Posted on: July 14, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Sinkholes from pipeline construction

Energy Transfer bored under Lincoln Highway and the Chester Valley Trail to install casing that will house new pipelines. That work caused sinkholes to open up. The sinkholes followed the construction path of the bore and did not expose any nearby pipelines in operation or create hazards in Lincoln Highway. The PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and PA Public Utility Commission (PUC) were on site to inspect the sinkholes.

The PUC continues to investigate whether there could be voids underground in that area that have not yet opened up as sinkholes. As part of the investigation, Energy Transfer conducted geophysical tests around the Chester Valley Trail (CVT) and found a void 30 feet underground, which was filled.  

A new crack was discovered on July 20th.  It is about 10’ long, 6" wide in the widest spots, 2’ deep in the deepest spots and will be filled immediately. Township staff were out and confirmed there is no imminent danger to the CVT or Lincoln Highway; both are safe to use.  DEP and PUC investigators were on site.  We are waiting for the results of their investigations.  Geophysical testing will continue in that area for at least another week.    

Pipeline construction will continue in that area as Energy Transfer pulls the pipes into the casing. That work could take another week to complete. During that time, Energy Transfer will continue to monitor 24/7 for signs of any more sinkholes.

West Whiteland Township does not own or regulate the impacted infrastructure or regulate the pipeline construction and therefore does not have jurisdiction to impose requirements. However, Township officials have urged the PUC to require further testing around the sinkholes to confirm the integrity of the operating pipelines, Lincoln Highway and the Chester Valley Trail. The PUC and ET have confirmed that additional geophysical testing will continue for at least another week.

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