The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania yesterday issued summary judgment in favor of Sunoco Pipeline LP after determining the company did not violate federal law by not seeking federal stormwater permits for its Mariner East 2 Pipeline (ME2) in Pennsylvania. The Delaware Riverkeeper Network, an activist group that has opposed construction of the permitted natural gas pipeline, alleged the company violated the Clean Water Act by not applying for federal permits, despite already receiving identical state permits.
The judge’s opinion points out that “it is evident that the real object of Plaintiffs’ ire is DEP for allowing Sunoco to construct ME2,” and threw out the lawsuit noting, “Even the byzantine regime of environmental regulation imposes neither such a pointless requirement nor a penalty for its ‘violation.’”
Below is a statement that can be attributed to me, Craig Stevens, spokesman for the GAIN Coalition:
“GAIN applauds the Court for its sensible ruling on Mariner East 2. The pipeline’s developer, Sunoco, has either met or exceeded industry safety standards, having received the necessary permits from state regulators. Unfortunately, extraneous legal challenges like this one have become all too common as environmental activists across the country work to halt the construction of permitted pipeline projects like ME2. This week’s ruling sends a strong message to energy developers that ensures regulatory certitude for infrastructure investment.”