Energy Transfer Partners Files Appeal Of DEP Order To Keep Natural Gas Out Of Unstable Section Of Revolution Pipeline That Exploded In 2018

On December 8, ETC Northeast Pipeline, LLC-- a.k.a. Energy Transfer Partners-- filed an appeal of a November 11 order issued by the Department of Environmental Protection to prevent ETC from putting natural gas in unstable sections of the Revolution Pipeline located in Butler, Beaver, Allegheny and Washington counties.  [EHB Docket Case# 2020110]

DEP said it issued the order because ETC violated the provisions of a January 2020 consent order and agreement.  The agreement also carried a $30.6 million civil penalty.  Read more here.

DEP said ETC did not propose and implement designs that achieve an adequate factor of safety where ETC constructed the Revolution Pipeline across steep slopes and hillsides and there is a higher risk of instability and slope failures.

ETC failed to submit the required stability designs and the company repeatedly stated to DEP that it has no intention of doing so.

DEP also issued a notice of violation in June 2019 for ETC’s deficient proposed preparedness, prevention, and contingency (PPC) plan, which ETC has still not revised and submitted for DEP approval.

The November 11 order specifically requires ETC to cease, discontinue and not allow placement of and/or remove natural gas and any natural gas related fluids in any section of the Revolution Pipeline located in areas with unstable slopes that are not permanently stabilized with a design that achieves the agreed upon factor of safety.

The order also requires that ETC develop and submit an adequate PPC plan that protects the public and environment by describing how the contents of the Revolution Pipeline would be removed in a safe and environmentally protective manner prior to permanent stabilization in the event of leak, release or catastrophic incident like a landslide.

The order will remain in effect until DEP issues written approval of ETC’s stability design and issues a written determination that the stability analyses and permanent stabilization plans have been fully implemented.

Click Here for a copy of DEP’s November 11 order.

In its December 8  appeal, ETC said it did submit the required slope stabilization plan in March along with supplemental information and a required investigation and design analysis for steep slope slide areas in April that it said DEP is reviewing.

ETC also said they submitted a proposed preparedness, prevention, and contingency (PPC) plan in May that DEP incorrectly said was deficient.

ETC said, “The Department’s decision to require ETC to remove natural gas, or other flammable gases, or brine from any portions of the Revolution Pipeline is arbitrary, capricious, contrary to law, and an abuse of discretion.”

ETC did not request an immediate hearing on a supercedeas-- or stay-- of DEP’s enforcement of the November 11 order in its initial appeal.

On December 9, the Environmental Hearing Board issued a pre-hearing order on the appeal laying out deadlines for how the case is to proceed.  Parties have until--

-- January 28 to certify they have conferred about a settlement; and

-- July 7 to make all dispositive motions.

A Board hearing would take place sometime after that.

For more information, see Environmental Hearing Board Docket Case# 2020110.

The Department of Environmental Protection published notices in the December 12 PA Bulletin inviting comments on several erosion and sedimentation control permits covering slope failure fixes along the ETC Northeast Pipeline, LLC-- a.k.a. Energy Transfer Partners-- Revolution Pipeline route located in Butler, Beaver, Allegheny and Washington counties (Dec. 12 PA Bulletin, pages 7051 to 7074).

Related Articles - Revolution Pipeline:

-- DEP Orders Energy Transfer Partners To Keep Natural Gas Out Of Unstable Sections Of Revolution Pipeline That Exploded In 2018

-- DEP Issues $30.6 Million Penalty Over ETC Revolution Pipeline Explosion Violations; Lifts Permit Bar

Related Articles - Oil & Gas:

-- DEP Invites Comments On Energy Transfer Partners Erosion & Sedimentation Permits For Revolution Pipeline Slope Failure Fixes

-- DEP Sets Jan. 13 Virtual Hearing On Chapt. 105 Waterways Permit For Phase I PennEast Pipeline Project

-- DEP Oil & Gas Advisory Board To Hear Update On Permit Fees v. Expenses; Oil & Gas Health Studies; Natural Gas Storage Fields; Reg. Update Dec. 16

-- DEP Advisory Committee To Discuss Final PFOS/PFOA/PFAS Soil, Water Cleanup Standards Dec. 16

-- DEP Hosts Dec. 15 Webinar On Transitioning To New ePermitting System For Oil & Gas Well Permits

-- DCNR Completes Online StoryMap On Monitoring Gas Development Impacts In State Forests

-- Delaware River Basin Commission Approves Terminal On Delaware River In NJ To Export PA Natural Gas

[Posted: December 10, 2020]


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