HARRISBURG, Pa. (June 16, 2021) — Members of the Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure
Alliance (PEIA) turned out in force today to endorse a plan by the developer of the Mariner
East pipeline network to modify the method of construction for a portion of the line in the
Marsh Creek area in Upper Uwchlan Township, Chester County.
More than two dozen PEIA members and other stakeholders and partners from across the
state submitted remarks or testified during a virtual hearing held by the Pennsylvania
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on Wednesday night. The comment period
runs through June 22.
“Pennsylvania’s energy industry has grown to support real jobs and significant investments
— and Mariner East is a big part of that,” said Tom Melisko, Business Manager for
International Union of Operating Engineers Local 66, one of the founding members of
PEIA. “Energy Transfer’s pipeline network continues to be a strong catalyst for our state’s
energy infrastructure buildout.”
The pipeline stretches more than 300 miles across the commonwealth, linking natural gas
drilling sites in western Pennsylvania to processing plants and market opportunities in
eastern Pennsylvania. The Marsh Creek site is the final link for finishing the cross-state
pipeline so the commonwealth can finally realize its full potential.
“This section is one of the last links of the west-to-east network to be completed and
households and businesses will continue to see savings in their monthly energy bills,” said
Jeff Kotula, President of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, another
founding member of PEIA. “Others in the northeastern United States could benefit as well as
Mariner East has led to the repurposing of the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex, which
serves as a critical processing, storage, and transport hub for natural gas developed in our
In September 2020, DEP halted construction at the worksite in Upper Uwchlan Township
and ordered a construction review after an inadvertent return (IR) impacted a stream that
fed Marsh Creek Lake in August 2020.
The pipeline developer had been performing horizontal directional drilling (HDD), the
approved and permitted method of construction, in the Marsh Creek area to connect two
existing pipes already in the ground on either side. HDDs are often the preferred method of
construction in developed areas, but IRs can sometimes occur.
Horizontal directional drilling is a steerable, trenchless method of installing underground
pipe. Open trench installation is an excavation where the pipeline is lowered into the trench
and covered. The open trench method eliminates the potential for an inadvertent return and
the modification is being pursued based on geological realities in the field.
“Mariner East primarily supplies the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex in Delaware County
and plays a major role in generating consistent revenue and economic stimulation in
southeastern Pennsylvania and the regional port as a whole,” said Dennis Rochford,
President of the Maritime Exchange for the Delaware River and Bay. “The energy
industry, responsible for generating $45 billion in economic activity over the past decade,
has consistently proven its importance in driving growth within local communities and
This is Pennsylvania’s largest infrastructure project, and it remains vital to the entire
commonwealth. Pipelines remain the safest means for transporting the vast energy
resources the state needs to power and sustain its economy. The pipeline is critical to local
“As a business owner here in Pennsylvania, I make decisions and form opinions based on
facts rather than ideology. I owe that much to my employees and to the community I call
home. And the facts, as I see them, show this modification to be the right move for the
environment, for the workers, and for the nearby community,” said Thom Ferro, President
of Ferro Fuel Oil Inc. in Boothwyn.
“Manufacturers depend on reliable and affordable natural gas access to remain economically
competitive. Total natural gas demand is poised to increase by 40% over the next decade
and researchers at the National Association of Manufacturers found the key drivers of this
demand will be for manufacturing and power generation. Therefore, projects such as Energy
Transfer’s Mariner East are so vitally important to the productive sector of our
commonwealth’s economy,” said Carl A. Marrara, Vice President of Government Affairs
for the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association.
Marking its six-year anniversary in June, the Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance has
advocated for the safe, responsible development of critical infrastructure. For more
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