Moving Forward After Environmental Hearing Board
While we were disappointed with the judge's ruling last week on our request to stay the water permits, there were some very interesting admissions made by Sunoco and DEP. Among those, notably:
1) Sunoco admitted it was currently revising the plans that DEP had approved in order to better conform them to the conditions set in the permits. In other words, their construction plans currently violate the permit conditions and they need to fix them, but they're still building the project in line with the inadequate plans.
2) Sunoco admitted that they believe the only pre-construction meetings that need to take place are those with DEP, and they're having those meetings. But in fact, their approved plans require them to invite all landowners to meetings before beginning construction on their land, and they admitted they have not done this. (See, for example, page 2, item 6 of
http://files.dep.state.pa.us/ProgramIntegration/PA%20Pipeline%20Portal/MarinerEastII/Chapter%20105/SERO%20Attachment%202-ES%20Drawings/_Chester%20Notes%20Details.pdf) If you are a landowner on the route, have you been invited to a pre-construction meeting with Sunoco and officials? If not, and they're trying to start work on your property, point to their plans and tell them they can't yet!
Already people have discussed on this list filing complaints as needed with DEP. I would suggest that everyone who can become familiar with Sunoco's latest plans in your area, that DEP approved and incorporated into the permit. If Sunoco's doing anything that deviates from those plans, submit a formal complaint to DEP (http://www.dep.pa.gov/About/ReportanIncident/Pages/EnvironmentalComplaints.aspx) and to your township, city, or borough. Those construction plans, also called E&S plans, are available on this page: http://www.dep.pa.gov/Business/ProgramIntegration/Pennsylvania-Pipeline-Portal/Pages/Mariner-East-II.aspx Some people on this list are good at finding these and reading them; I would suggest people help each other out here.
Also, if they're trying to start work on your property without having had a pre-construction meeting to which you've been invited, do the same. Demand that DEP enforce its permits.
If they've already dug the trench and laid the pipe and are now covering it up and seeding the property, ask them what seed mix they're using. The permits require indigenous species to be planted, but their plans specify replanting with invasive species. If they're going by their DEP-approved plans, they will be violating the permits, and you should submit a formal complaint.