Curtin & Heefner Attorneys scored a major victory at the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on behalf of Pennsylvania State Senator Andrew Dinniman against Sunoco’s Mariner East pipelines. The Commission granted a preliminary injunction and halted the operations of Marine East 1 pipeline and prohibiting construction of the Mariner East 2 and Mariner East 2X pipelines in West Whiteland Township, Chester County. Curtin & Heefner had filed the complaint and sought the preliminary injunction after having been denied intervenor status in the prior ex parte emergency petition filed by the Commission’s own Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement, which had resulted in a prior shut down of Mariner East 1 pipeline.
Attorney Mark Freed and Joanna Waldron prevailed on the Senator’s Emergency Petition for Relief before Administrative Law Judge Elizabeth Barnes after two days of hearings. Judge Barnes issued the Order on Among her findings was: “Sunoco has made deliberate managerial decisions to proceed in what appears to be a rushed manner in an apparent prioritization of profit over the best engineering practices available in our time that might best ensure public safety.” The Order indicates that Sunoco failed to conduct proper testing that could have uncovered the underlying geology along the route and could have avoided damaging private wells and creating sinkholes in West Whiteland Township. The Order also granted Senator Dinniman’s request for Sunoco to create a public risk analysis with information “to warn and protect the public from danger and to reduce the hazards to which the public may be subjected.”
The order will go to the full five-member Public Utility Commission this month.