HARRISBURG, PA —Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced that three professional geology firms, GeoServices, Meiser & Earl and David Miller Associates, Inc., were selected to begin independent evaluations of water quality for residents affected by the construction of the Mariner East 2 Pipeline.
“Pennsylvanians have a constitutional right to clean air and pure water,” said AG Shapiro. “My office fought hard for residents to have the opportunity to get their water tested, after being pushed aside by big companies and ignored by the institutions that were supposed to help them. Today we take the next step to bring justice to those harmed by Energy Transfer’s crimes and to secure Pennsylvanian’s right to safe, reliable and clean drinking water.”
Earlier this year, following an investigation by the Office of Attorney General Environmental Crimes Section, Sunoco Pipeline L.P., and ETC Northeast Pipeline LLC (ETC), both subsidiaries of Energy Transfer, L.P. (Energy Transfer), were convicted of criminal charges related to their conduct during the construction of two major pipelines in Pennsylvania. Mariner East 2 Pipeline, which crosses 17 counties in the southern tier of Pennsylvania, and Revolution Pipeline, a 42.5 mile pipeline that starts in Butler County, and is routed through Beaver and Allegheny counties, and connects to a gas processing plant in Washington County.
As part of the agreement, Energy Transfer agreed to pay for independent evaluations of potential water quality impacts for homeowners from the construction of the Mariner East 2 Pipeline and offer approved mechanisms for restoring or replacing the impacted private water supplies. Six independent professional geologists will review water testing and advise on water quality and impact: Douglas Cwienk, P.G. and Timothy Higgins, P.G., hydrogeologists at David Miller Associates, Inc.; Peter Robelen, P.G., president and founder of GeoServices, Ltd.; Jennifer Reese, P.G., hydrogeologist at GeoServices, Ltd.; Jay Lynch, P.G., president and hydrogeologist at Meiser & Earl, Inc.; and Richard Henry, P.G., hydrogeologist at Meiser & Earl, Inc.. These geologists are experts in the field and have years of experience evaluating and protecting Pennsylvania’s water supply, including, in some cases, offering water and environmental resources related to natural gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale. Residents who have requested a water evaluation should expect to be contacted by one of the professional geologists in the near future to begin the review.
In addition to the water evaluations, Energy Transfer has paid the Office of Attorney General $10 million to fund projects that improve the health and safety of water sources along the routes of the pipelines. This funding is being distributed through existing Commonwealth grant programs, to ensure high-impact projects are selected in the impacted communities and that proper oversight is provided. Grant programs include those operated by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Department of Environmental Protections. The first round of projects will be announced in the coming weeks. These resources are intended to make the water sources most damaged by Energy Transfer’s crimes cleaner and safer.
A fact sheet detailing the plea agreement is available HERE.
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