About this webpage
This section of the website is devoted to providing timely, accurate, and continuously updated public information on the Sunoco Pipeline Project (Mariner I & II) that runs through our Township. This is a highly controversial project that, unfortunately, the Township was forced to engage through litigation starting in 2014. That is when Sunoco, in our view, breached our mutual Settlement Agreement to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the projects through our community. Documents posted here include legal filings, findings of fact, safety reports, Township news releases and public statements, and other pertinent materials for your review. We greatly appreciate your support and welcome your questions.
Upcoming Events & Hearings
- A public Hearing before the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board (EHB) has been rescheduled for 9:00 a.m., Wednesday, August 9th at the EHB Hearing Room to hear testimony on the Clean Air Council case that recently shut down many of Sunoco’s Mariner II horizontal directional drilling (HDD) locations in the Commonwealth. The Hearing is open to the public. The EHB’s Hearing Room is located in Harrisburg at the Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market Street, Second Floor. – CANCELLED due to an apparent settlement agreement reached between Clean Air Council and Sunoco Logistics.
Documents / Litigation
- West Goshen Township PUC Proposed Findings of Fact - August 2, 2017
- West Goshen Township PUC Brief - August 2, 2017
- West Goshen Township PUC Brief without Appendix - August 2, 2017
- PA DEP Order for Cumberland County stopping work - July 27, 2017
- PA DEP Order for Chester County stopping work - July 24, 2017
- West Goshen Press Release regarding PUC / EHB Orders - July 25, 2017
- Denial of Motions on Judgment of Pleadings - PUC - July 24, 2017
- Interim Emergency Order Granted - July 24, 2017
- 2015 Settlement Agreement
- Accufacts Mariner I Safety Report (Richard Kuprewicz Report)
- Accufacts Mariner II Safety Report (Richard Kuprewicz Report)
- Mariner East I Proposed Settlement Fact Sheet
- Mariner II Pipeline Expert Discussion Notification
- Mariner II Pipeline Accufacts Report Presentation
- Zoning Hearing Application for Pump Station
- Withdraw Notification
- Aerial Photograph of Proposed Site
- 1st Amended Complaint (March 29, 2017)
- Township Response in Opposition for Summary Dismissal
- West Goshen Petition for Ex-Parte Emergency Order
- LaLonde Affidavit on Emergency Petition
- West Goshen Files Petition for Injunction Press Release
- Public Utility Commission Denial of Emergency Injunction
- Public Utility Commission Denial Ratification of Emergency Injunction
- Sunoco Mariner II Construction Notice of Violation
- Initial Pre-Conference Hearing Document
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
Why did West Goshen Township sue Sunoco Logistics?
West Goshen Township filed a lawsuit against Sunoco Logistics in March, 2017 after it was discovered that Sunoco Logistics was not abiding by the May, 2015 Settlement Agreement, namely that Sunoco Logistics, without the required notice to West Goshen Township, moved the automatic valve locations for the Mariner II pipelines.
Is our water safe to drink?
All West Goshen Township residential properties in the Boot Road corridor utilize public water furnished by Aqua, PA. There is no information currently available that the horizontal directional drilling (HDD) has impacted public water supplies.
Why did Sunoco Logistics breach the Settlement Agreement if it agreed to it in the first place?
The Township has yet to determine why Sunooco Logistics has breached the Settlement Agreement, but the current litigation aims to determine why the breach occurred and find a remedy.
What is the economic impact of the Mariner II pipelines on West Goshen Township?
First, the project scuttled an approximately $35,000,000 approved land development project, namely Traditions Independent Living, at the unauthorized location of the Mariner II valve stations on the eastern side of Boot Road at Rt. 202. The Traditions development project would have provided approximately $400,000 in road improvements to the congested intersection of Rt. 202 / Boot Road / Greenhill Road. In addition, the project would have provided over $100,000 in building permit fees and significant earned income and real estate taxes to the Township. The Traditions project would have provided a nearby independent living facility accessible to retired Township residents.
Second, building a 10,000 square foot valve station on the eastern side of Rt. 202 at Boot Road effectively stops any economic development or land development of the remaining parcel, given that the proposed valve station is situated in the middle of the parcel. This parcel will become tax-exempt, given the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and many Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court rulings that Sunoco Logistics is a tax-exempt public utility.
What’s it costing West Goshen Township to fight Sunoco Logistics?
As of June 30, 2017 and since early 2014, West Goshen Township has expended over $300,000 in legal fees fighting Sunoco Logistics. These legal fees are in addition to the countless Township staff hours devoted to this issue.
May West Goshen Township recover its legal fees for this fight?
West Goshen Township may seek recovery of legal fees for this prolonged fight, but the Public Utility Commission would have to approve recovery of legal fees.
What’s the Mariner I & II project worth to Sunoco Logistics?
The project installation costs just for the two Mariner II pipeline projects is estimated at $3,500,000,000. Profits for Sunoco Logistics after project completion are unknown.
How much will Sunoco Logistics be paying to the West Goshen Township to run the two new pipelines through the Township?
How long will this litigation go on?
The litigation timeline is not specific, but discovery for the case is set to begin in early fall with the case ultimately being heard in early 2018.
Will the pipelines hurt my property value?
At a June 2017 public meeting held in East Goshen Township, a local realtor stated that property values are not hurt by those properties being adjacent to a pipeline.
Why didn’t West Goshen Township just tell Sunoco Logistics it did not want any new pipelines installed in the Township?
After Sunoco Logistics applied for and received Public Utility status, the Township no longer had any jurisdiction over the installation of the pipelines. The Township enacted an Ordinance in 2014 that prohibited the installation of private pipelines in residential areas, but following Sunoco Logistics’ approval as a Public Utility by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, the Township’s jurisdiction over pipelines was removed.
What, in short, is the risk the pipeline poses to the Township’s residents’ health, safety and welfare?
Please see the Accufacts Mariner I & Mariner II Safety Reports above in the Documents / Litigation section.