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The original item was published from 7/25/2020 2:13:00 PM to 7/29/2020 9:45:28 AM.

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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 over the course of several weeks in June and July. 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.  

Geophysical testing resumed on the morning of July 25th.  By early afternoon, the testing was done for the day and the trail reopened.  The CVT will be closed again on Monday and Tuesday (July 27-28th) for additional geophysical testing.

Pipeline construction will continue in that area as Energy Transfer pulls the pipes into the casing. During that time, Energy Transfer will continue to monitor 24/7 for signs of any more sinkholes and conduct ground penetrating radar several times daily.

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, and are pleased to see that taking place.

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