Transco, the company behind the $3 billion Atlantic Sunrise shale gas pipeline from Susquehanna County in northeastern Pennsylvania as far south as Alabama, is paying more than $700,000 in penalties for violations in nine counties.
The violations included failure to properly maintain erosion and sedimentation best management practices, drilling fluid spills at sites in Lebanon, Luzerne, and Wyoming counties, and sediment discharge into waterways. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) documented several failures to follow permits in regard to stream crossings and ground stabilization.
DEP Secretary Patrick McDowell said "impacts from construction activities that harm or have the potential to harm waters of the Commonwealth are unacceptable, and we will continue to hold operators accountable."
Atlantic Sunrise has long been dogged by environmental impact questions. The group Lancaster Against Pipelines criticized DEP for issuing permits to the project without due diligence: “With this settlement, the DEP is essentially receiving a kick-back for hastily permitting a dangerous project they should have denied, with none of that money going to the residents whose land was taken against their will. This settlement is no consolation for our community, land, or water,” the group said in a statement.