Prove your humanity

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection fined Texas-based Energy Transfer $140-thousand for construction violations on a Beaver County natural gas pipeline. 

In 2019, the DEP received a complaint about the company’s B15 Well Connect Pipeline in Economy Borough and New Sewickley Township. The agency found the company had committed several violations, including failing to report a 30-foot landslide along its right-of-way, failing to properly mark the pipeline’s path, and allowing erosion and runoff problems at several points on the route. 

The agency received another complaint in March 2020. DEP inspectors found stormwater flowing off the construction site, through a wooded area and onto private property and a public road, in violation of the company’s erosion control permit. 

In addition, the company failed to identify four wetlands that the agency says “may have been present during and impacted by pipeline construction without proper permitting.”

As part of a consent order and agreement signed by the company’s subsidiary, ETC Northeast Field Services, LLC, Energy Transfer agreed to put in place a plan to fix its erosion and construction issues and submit progress reports to DEP. 

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Last year the agency fined Energy Transfer a record $30 million for the 2018 explosion along the Revolution Pipeline in Beaver County. 

That pipeline had been operating for just a week when a landslide along its route caused the pipeline to rupture, leading to a fire that burned down a house and killed animals. 

A Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission investigation revealed the Revolution blast occurred in an area in the highest level of landslide risk and had seen “prior slide events.”

As part of the Revolution settlement, the company agreed to restore and monitor the site of the blast for five years. 

This story is produced in partnership with StateImpact Pennsylvania, a collaboration among The Allegheny Front, WPSU, WITF and WHYY to cover the commonwealth's energy economy.