In accordance with the Impact Assessment and Restoration Plan (plan) for Ranger Cove of Marsh Creek State Park, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) intends to commence turtle trapping on Monday, April 4th, 2022. Turtle traps will be baited and deployed by Dubois and Associates for a period of 20 days and will be monitored once per day; captured turtles will be released into another part of the reservoir. Additionally, a turbidity curtain will be installed on Wednesday, April 6, 2022 by SWAT Consulting/AECOM to prevent turtles from entering the project area.
ETP is required to implement the plan under the December 6, 2021 Consent Order and Agreement (COA) between DEP, DCNR, and ETP. The latest revision to the plan was approved by DEP on March 22, 2022. Included within the plan are the necessary PNDI clearances issued by the PA Fish and Boat Commission and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).
While the COA authorizes activities regulated under 25 PA Code Chapter 105, including PNDI clearances and conservation and avoidance measures for the Northern Red Belly Cooter, a state listed threatened species of turtle, it also requires ETP to obtain all other necessary permits, authorizations and approvals from DEP prior to any dredging activities taking place. Authorizations required include an amendment to ETP’s current Ch. 102 permit and a new Temporary Discharge Authorization associated with the dredge dewatering activities, both of which are pending final decisions from DEP. Additional approvals from ACOE/USFWS, DCNR, and Upper Uwchlan Township may also be required. The ACOE has indicated that no further federal approvals are required from their office. On March 15, 2022, DCNR entered into an agreement with ETP granting access to property under their jurisdiction for the dredge dewatering activities.
More information on these activities can be found in the documents and reports referenced and linked above.
On December 6, 2021, DEP and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) entered into a Consent Order and Agreement (COA) with Sunoco that requires Sunoco to implement measures to assess, remediate and restore areas of Marsh Creek Lake, in Marsh Creek State Park in Upper Uwchlan Township, Chester County, that were impacted by Sunoco’s August 10, 2020 spill of approximately 8,000 gallons of drilling fluid, an industrial waste, into wetlands, streams, and ultimately Marsh Creek Lake itself.
The COA also requires Sunoco to remit a civil penalty of $ 341,000 and natural resource damages of $ 4,000,000 to the Commonwealth, as well as to post a bond of $ 4,000,000 to ensure that work to restore the impacted water resources is completed. As part of the required restoration and remediation work, Sunoco must dredge 14.8 acres of Ranger Cove, the area in the Lake where the drilling fluids were deposited when the spill occurred. In addition, the COA resolves outstanding compliance issues at this site.
Because the COA outlines the corrective actions Sunoco must undertake to fully remediate and restore the area impacted by the August 10, 2020 spill, DEP has agreed to supersede the outstanding obligations in its September 11, 2020 Administrative Order (Order) by the corrective actions specified in the COA. Further, Sunoco will withdraw its appeals related to the Order and a permit issued by the Department for borehole grouting work on the site, as well as its drilling restart report.
Upon executing the COA, DEP approved major amendment applications for both Chapter 102 (Erosion and Sediment Control) and Chapter 105 (Water Obstruction and Encroachments) permits for the site that will specify a new route and new installation method for the Mariner East 2 Pipeline at the location of Horizontal Directional Drill (HDD) 290. Instead of utilizing the HDD method that resulted in the spill and subsequent subsidence, the newly-approved route and method will be performed via the open-cut method; no drilling fluids will be used. All relevant documents pertaining to these updates are below.
December 6, 2021 Wolf Administration Requires Sunoco to Restore Lake at Marsh Creek State Park in Chester County