Prove your humanity

Sunoco says its long-delayed Mariner East 2 pipeline is in service as of Saturday.

The company said in a notice on its website that the 350-mile line, which spans Pennsylvania, will be carrying ethane, butane and propane to the Marcus Hook industrial complex in Delaware County.

Mariner East 2 was planned as a 20-inch pipeline. But because the full length of the 20-inch line will not be finished until 2020, the company said, it would join three different pipelines to create a hybrid through which natural gas liquids will flow temporarily. The company says it is calling that hybrid line Mariner East 2.

LISTEN: A Very Controversial Pipeline

Construction began in early 2017, and the project was already 18 months behind schedule when it missed a September start-up target for the bringing the line into service. It has faced multiple construction-related violations and regulatory shutdowns, and has faced strenuous opposition from people who live near the pipeline route and from activists and watchdog groups who raise public safety concerns.

Even though the line is operating, challenges remain.

A Public Utility Commission administrative law judge is reviewing a request from several Chester and Delaware county residents to shut down the pipeline completely, and the Chester County district attorney just opened a criminal investigation into the project.

Mariner East 2 at a glance

  • Project announced: November 2014.
  • Pipeline in operation: Dec. 29, 2018, after multiple delays
  • Builder: Energy Transfer Partners/Sunoco Logistics
  • Cost: More than $2.5 billion. The company has not disclosed an updated cost.
  • Length: 350 miles from Scio, Ohio to the Marcus Hook industrial complex in Delaware County, Pa. It runs along the same right-of-way used by Mariner East 1, a repurposed line that is carrying natural gas liquids to Marcus Hook, and Sunoco’s next project, Mariner East 2X.
  • Pennsylvania counties traversed: 17
  • Economic impact: Potentially $9 billion in from construction and other activity between 2014-2019, according to a study paid for by ETP.
  • What it carries: Natural gas liquids from Marcellus Shale fields in Ohio and western Pennsylvania. Mariner East 2 is part of a three-stage project: Mariner East 1 involved reversing the flow of an existing line; the company has plans to build Mariner East 2x. All three lines will run along the same right of way.
  • Where they’re going: The natural gas liquids are being shipped overseas to make plastics.

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.