Sunoco Pipeline L.P. recently has contacted landowners in East Nantmeal regarding two pipeline projects. One project involves rehabilitation of an existing pipeline and the other a feasibility study for a new pipeline approximating the existing right of way.
For decades Sunoco’s pipeline moved liquid petroleum products, such as heating oil, from their Marcus Hook refinery to the Pittsburgh area. That route utilizes pipelines that run along the western boundary of East Nantmeal in the vicinity of Millard Road. Sunoco currently has two pipes about three feet underground, one 8-inch diameter and one 6-inch diameter; the larger has been taken off-line for inspection and repair. Ultimately the company intends to reverse the flow from the Pittsburgh area to the newly converted refinery in Marcus Hook. And rather than move petroleum products, the pipeline will carry natural gas liquids. To implement this plan, the line has been cleared so it can be inspected and maintained. Remote inspection of the pipeline will indicate areas where the steel might be dented, thinned or in other ways needing repair. Sunoco can exercise the rights granted in their easement to enter onto an individual’s property to survey, inspect and if necessary excavate and repair the pipeline. Residents should expect to see Sunoco or its contractors doing this type of work in the western part of the township until the projected completion date in mid-2014.
The Mariner East Pipeline Project is a separate endeavor to move natural gas liquids from Ohio, across Pennsylvania to the Marcus Hook facility. Sunoco is in the very early stages of Mariner and will be in East Nantmeal conducting a feasibility study. The Company intends to follow the current pipeline route through the township (along the western boundary) using the existing right of way. However, the old right of way may not prove sufficient, which means that the company may need to survey and test areas outside of their right of way. If Sunoco ventures outside the eased areas onto private property, they will need to inform and get permission from the landowner. At this time, no application has been made with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and no permits have been issued for this new pipeline. If the Mariner project is approved and the route determined, then Sunoco may have to also obtain additional right-of-way easements to construct the pipeline.