NOTTINGHAM, Pa. (KDKA) — It’s cutting a swath across Pennsylvania, a natural gas pipeline running from the west to the east — border to border — leaving many an unhappy property owner in its wake.
“They came through, they left my property in a mess,” said Dan Minick, a property owner who has been impacted by the pipeline construction.
Dan Minick’s farm is a lovely, rolling spread in Nottingham, Washington County, but it has been recently scarred by a track left by the $2.5 billion Mariner East 2 Pipeline Project.
It’s the second one laid by Sunoco Pipeline in the past three years.
Mudslides from the first one turned Minick’s pond into a mud pit. This time, the 78-year-old tried to block the workers after he said they created an ugly, rutted path.
“’We’re going to call the police.’ I said, ‘Call the police, call whoever you want. I want them to come here and see the mess you’re leaving me,’” Minick said.
The pipeline is designed to transport liquid natural gas from the Utica and Marcellus Shales to the Delaware River and national and international markets, but, so far, it’s had a rough going.
Property owners have complained of polluted wells, and the state Department of Environmental Protection has issued several notices of violation for impacts on streams and waterways.
Jennifer Weinzerel says workers have been digging a trench and laying pipe at all hours of the night right beside her home, disrupting her peaceful neighborhood.
After they finish, her biggest concern is an explosion close to her home.
“I have two kids. We built this house 10 years ago, and never in my life did I think I would have to worry about explosions or pollution,” said Weinzerel.
Sunoco is now dredging Minick’s pond, cleaning it of the mud and silt.
After KDKA contacted them with his new concerns, they said they’ll no longer be needing to work at night and that they’ll return to the Minick farm and landscape the path to its original shape.
They issued this statement about the project:
“Mariner East 2 is an essential infrastructure project that will help rebuild Pennsylvania’s manufacturing economy, contributing more than $4 billion to the economy while creating thousands of construction jobs and hundreds of permanent careers in the process. We are taking every measure to protect property and the environment and to limit construction impacts to our neighbors.”
But Minick has another message for the company.
“I can’t stop progress, but at least do it right. Make me happy, make the landowner happy. Don’t leave him a mess and tell him, ‘Oh, if you have a problem, we’ll come back and fix it.’ I don’t want to go through this again,” Minick said.
Some call it progress, to others it’s a dangerous disruption. But as the troubled pipeline makes its way across the state, these conflicts are bound to endure.