On Friday, a Pennsylvania judge denied a request to temporarily halt the start of construction on the controversial Mariner East 2 pipeline.

Judge Bernard Labuskes of the Environmental Hearing Board did not give a reason for denying the request from three environmental groups seeking to stop Sunoco Logistics from starting work on the cross-state line, pending a full hearing on the issue in early March.

The Clean Air Council and two other groups argued in a hearing on Thursday that early work on the line, including tree cutting and horizontal drilling, would risk water contamination and result in “irreparable harm.”

But a Sunoco attorney said the company needed to start work right away in some locations in order to complete tree felling in time to meet a deadline that’s designed to protect a threatened species of bat.

The judge said a full hearing on the environmental groups’ request for an order of “supersedeas’ will be held on March 1-3.

Continue reading this story at StateImpact Pennsylvania »

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This story comes from our content partner StateImpact Pennsylvania, a collaboration between WITF and WHYY covering the fiscal and environmental impact of Pennsylvania’s booming energy economy.