Last week, Energy Transfer agreed to suspend construction in Meadowbrook Manor. The PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) asked them to do that to allow time for Energy Transfer (ET) to investigate different construction methods that would be more likely to prevent sinkholes from opening as the 2 new pipelines are installed under Valley Creek. The current method of auger boring has resulted in numerous sinkholes opening along the bore path.
The new construction method under consideration is for ET to push casing that surrounds the new pipes under the creek via repeated percussive blows with a ramming tool powered by hydraulic forces. This is the same construction method that has been used to pound casing into the ground near horizontal directional drilling sites and it is very loud. People will hear it and feel vibrations for some distance away from the construction site – a much larger number of homes than has been hearing boring operations.
DEP has authorized ET to conduct a test of this method in Meadowbrook Manor. Testing is expected to begin Thursday afternoon (July 22). ET first has to complete about 10 feet of boring that was underway when work stopped last week and then they will conduct the test. After the hammer test is complete, ET, DEP and the PA Public Utility Commission will evaluate the method before determining when or how additional work will continue.
West Whiteland has encouraged ET to use all possible sound mitigation measures while the hammering is taking place.