DEP Order Requires Payment Of $125,000 Penalty For Latest Revolution Natural Gas Pipeline Construction Violations In Beaver County

On March 1, the Department of Environmental Protection announced that it has executed a consent order and agreement with ETC Northeast Pipeline, LLC [an Energy Transfer Partners/Sunoco pipeline company] which owns and operates the Revolution Pipeline to address construction violations along the route of the Revolution Natural Gas Pipeline, a 40.5-mile natural gas gathering pipeline that crosses Butler, Beaver, Allegheny, and Washington counties.

A portion of the brand new pipeline in Beaver County exploded in 2018 shortly after it was put into service as a result of shifting soils on a steep slope causing stresses on the pipeline.

This latest COA addresses the construction and monitoring of steep slopes along the pipeline right of way and allows for ETC to put the pipeline into service, subject to any requirements by other regulatory agencies.

This settlement includes a $125,000 civil penalty assessment and resolves a November 11, 2020 administrative order by DEP that prevented ETC from putting natural gas into steep portions of the pipeline that ETC had not adequately investigated and required ETC to submit a complete preparedness, prevention, and contingency (PPC) plan.

On December 4, 2020, ETC submitted a revised PPC Plan that describes 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.

ETC also demonstrated that all steep slope areas identified in the order currently meet the factor of safety DEP required.

DEP had previously documented numerous unstable slopes and numerous landslides have occurred along the pipeline right of way. Most notably on September 10, 2018, a landslide occurred along the Revolution Pipeline in Center Township, Beaver County that caused a break in a section of the pipeline that allowed methane gas to escape.

The gas ignited, causing a fire that burned several acres of forested areas; destroyed a single-family home, a barn, and numerous vehicles; resulted in the evacuation of nearby residents; and caused six high voltage electric transmission towers to collapse.

ETC appealed DEP’s November 2020 order to the Environmental Hearing Board. As required in the COA, ETC filed a stipulation of settlement with the Board and sent DEP notice that the pipeline would be placed into service as of March 1, 2021.  

This COA includes corrective actions that ETC must undertake, including construction addressing drainage issues along steep slopes, submission of a revised permanent stabilization plan to provide for continuous stability monitoring of the “Penny Hollow Site,” and daily monitoring of this site and immediate notification of land movement to DEP until continuous monitors are installed.

The $125,000 civil penalty will go into the Oil and Gas Program Fund.

Click Here for a copy of the order

Related Actions

In January, 2020, DEP imposed a record $30.6 million penalty on ETC Northeast Pipeline LLC for violations related to the 2018 Revolution Pipeline explosion and fire in Beaver County.  Read more here.

The Public Utility Commission has a $1 million proposed penalty pending against Energy Transfer Partners for multiple violations related to the Revolution Pipeline explosion.  Read more here

DEP has also imposed multiple penalties on the Mariner East 2 Pipeline, also owned by Energy Transfer Partners/Sunoco, for construction-related violations, including a $12.6 million penalty in February, 2018.  Read more here.

The most recent Mariner East Pipeline penalties were imposed just last week-- $497,000 for violations in Lebanon County.  Read more here.

Mariner East Pipeline penalties were also imposed by DEP in August 2020 for multiple locations-- $355,000 [Read more here]; January 2020 in Huntingdon County-- $1.9 million [Read more here]; and August 2018 multiple locations- $148,000 [Read more here].

The Public Utility Commission imposed additional penalties on Sunoco/Energy Transfer Partners for a variety of violations along the Mariner East Pipelines in May 2020 - $200,000. Read more here.

Visit DEP’s Revolution Pipeline and Mariner East Pipelines webpages for more information.

Media questions should be directed to Lauren Fraley, DEP Southwest Regional Office, 412-442-4203 or

[Posted: March 1, 2021]


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