The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) has announced that it intends to use the $12.6 million dollars it received from Sunoco Pipeline, LLP (“SPLP”) for violations associated with the construction of the Mariner East 2 (“ME2”) pipeline to fund projects to improve water quality. Eligible grant applicants include 85 municipalities, county conservation districts, incorporated watershed associations, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations along the length of the ME2 pipeline. The ME2 pipeline extends through portions of York, Lancaster, Cumberland, Lebanon, and Dauphin Counties in Central Pennsylvania. Examples of eligible projects include:
- Projects that improve and/or protect public drinking water sources and infrastructure;
- Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (“MS4”) projects;
- Projects that reduce nutrient and sediment load within the Chesapeake Bay watershed and impaired waters;
- Projects that improve water quality while enhancing community recreational opportunities.
The 45-day grant application round will open May 7, 2018. DEP anticipates announcing the approved projects in the summer of 2018.
The $12.6 million penalty obtained from SPLP was one of the largest single penalties ever collected by DEP. It was based upon numerous permit violations and followed a shutdown of ME2 construction by DEP in January 2018.
Attorneys with Stock and Leader’s Environment, Energy and Environmental Mediation Group are available to assist in the identification of potential projects and the preparation of grant applications.