A week ago, 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 previous method of auger boring resulted in numerous sinkholes opening along the bore path.
Energy Transfer proposed a different construction method in which the casing that surrounds the new pipes would be pushed into place via repeated percussive blows with a ramming tool powered by hydraulic forces. DEP authorized ET to conduct a test of this method in Meadowbrook Manor, which took place on July 23rd. Based on the results of that test and other information provided by ET, DEP approved a permit amendment related to work in the wetland and creek that is needed for construction to resume. This construction method will be used to install the remaining pipeline in Meadowbrook Manor. The work is expected to proceed faster than the auger boring and could be completed within a week.
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. West Whiteland has encouraged ET to use all possible sound mitigation measures while the hammering is taking place.
The loud hammering noise will only take place a couple hours each day and will not be continuous. After each segment of pipe is pushed into place, the next segment must be welded together. The timing is anticipated to be roughly 1 hour of ramming followed by 4 hours of welding.
The 8" and 12" pipelines will continue to be in operation while construction is underway. Well points and strain gauges are being installed to monitor those pipelines.