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Posted on: June 20, 2017

Sunoco Mariner East 2 Pipeline - Inadvertent Return of Drilling Mud in UUT

CHESTER SPRINGS, PA – Sunoco Pipeline has reported an inadvertent return (IR) at one of the construction sites of the Mariner East 2 pipeline in Upper Uwchlan Township. The return occurred on Township property southeast of Hickory Park. 

The following is a statement from Sunoco: 

"On Saturday June 17, 2017, Sunoco Pipeline identified an inadvertent return of drilling mud on Upper Uwchlan Township property, in an unnamed tributary of Marsh Creek southeast of Hickory Park. An estimated five gallons of mud entered the water and crews immediately set up containment at the site, including sandbags, in accordance with our permits from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
 
Sandbag containment for the drilling mud, composed of non-toxic bentonite clay and water, will remain in place at the inadvertent return locations and will be monitored throughout the duration of the construction. These sandbags help prevent sediment (in this case bentonite clay) from impacting waterways, while a pump is utilized to vacuum and recycle the drilling mud.
 
Proper notifications have been made to Pennsylvania DEP, Chester County Conservation District, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, along with Upper Uwchlan Township. Sunoco Pipeline will continue to work in conjunction with these regulatory agencies and the township to monitor and minimize any impacts to the area.
 
The Mariner East 2 pipeline project utilizes Horizontal Directional Drilling as a construction method to minimize surface disturbance and reduce environmental impact during construction. Inadvertent returns occur when drilling mud, used to lubricate the drill underground, follows a fracture in the rock under the area and finds its way to the surface. The bentonite is approved for use by the DEP under safe drinking water standards and is mixed with potable water to form the mud that helps facilitate the drilling process Please see the HDD fact sheet for more information.
 
Sunoco Pipeline continues to operate a 24-hour informational hotline at 855-430-4491. For more information on the Mariner East 2 construction project, visit www.marinerpipelinefacts.com."


Township personnel visited the site of the IR on Monday, June 19, and will continue to monitor this situation until construction and cleanup are completed at the site. 

For more information about IRs, bentonite, and the HDD construction process, refer to the attached fact sheet provided by Sunoco. Residents and interested members of the public can sign up to receive information about pipeline work using Township website's Notify Me feature. All updates related to the Sunoco Mariner East 2 project will be archived at upperuwchlan-pa.gov/pipelines.

Upper Uwchlan Township is a Township of the Second class, population 11,500, located in central Chester County, PA. Visit us on the web at www.upperuwchlan-pa.gov. Like us on Facebook and Twitter @upperuwchlan.
  
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