Penn. DEP Issues Order Against Pipeline Following Explosion

Source: Penn DEP

Pittsburgh, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has issued a Field Order to ETC Northeast Pipeline LLC (ETC) requiring the operator to immediately stabilize disturbed areas, repair erosion control features, and stop all other earth moving activities associated with the Revolution Pipeline.

This action stems from the September 10, 2018, Revolution Pipeline explosion in Center Township, Beaver County. The Revolution Pipeline is not currently in operation.

One home was destroyed, but no one was injured in the blast along the Revolution Pipeline shortly before 5 a.m.

DEP has been conducting an ongoing investigation for the past several weeks. DEP has collected and subpoenaed documents, interviewed witnesses, and inspected the explosion site and the entire length of the pipeline.

The inspections discovered violations including unreported landslides, impacts to aquatic resources, construction activities occurring in unpermitted areas, and several sections of the pipeline that required the installation of additional measures to prevent accelerated erosion.  DEP issued the field order to address these violations.

The order requires ETC and/or its contractors to temporarily stabilize disturbed areas within four days, flag the boundaries of the permitted area and delineated wetlands, provide an updated Erosion and Sediment Control Plan, and provide an updated Post Construction Stormwater Management Plan supported by appropriate site characterization and assessment of soil and geology including appropriate infiltration and geotechnical studies.

The order prohibits additional construction and field work without DEP approval. DEP may take additional enforcement actions including possible civil penalties.

In June, the company agreed to pay a Department of Environmental Protection fine of $145,250 for discharging “sediment-laden runoff” into Raccoon Creek and an unnamed tributary.