Sunoco pipeline construction begins in Cumberland County

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Construction on the long-awaited, long-debated Sunoco pipeline has begun.

The Mariner East 2 pipeline will carry natural gas from western Pennsylvania to refineries near Philly.

It will pass through most Midstate counties and it’s already arrived in parts of Cumberland, York and Dauphin counties.

“Surprised actually. It’s been talked about for quite a while,” Dan Jernigan, who lives in Silver Spring Township, said.

It was three years of permits, lawsuits and protests.

“Never thought too much about it,” Jernigan said. “It’s never affected us.”

It wasn’t until this month that the Sunoco pipeline debate hit home for Jernigan.

“This is going to cut through six or seven feet of my actual property,” he said.

In neighboring Upper Allen Township, the pipes have already arrived. Construction is mostly in remote areas, so no road closures or worries about noise.

Sunoco says 500 workers are already on grounds around Pennsylvania, but in Upper Allen Township at least, most of the workers ABC27 News talked to were from out of state.

There’s no word if that situation will be the same in Silver Spring Township.

“We’ve approved the road use agreement, so you’ll see trucks in the area taking care of the rightaways, and getting ready for the project to start, I’m thinking in a couple of weeks,” Theresa Eberly, Silver Spring Township Manager, said.

She’s certain there will be no road closures, and Sunoco assured her there will be sound barriers around construction sites to limit noise.

“I guess we’re going to see what happens with things, if things are really disrupted, if there’s a big problem with the water supply or something, I guess we’ll talk to a lawyer,” Jernigan said.

Sunoco senior manager, Joe McGinn, sent a statement saying, “Construction is underway on Mariner East 2 throughout central Pennsylvania including in Cumberland, York, and Dauphin counties. We are actively clearing land in some areas in preparation for putting new pipe in the ground as well proceeding with directionally drilling and boring of the new pipelines in other areas to limit the impact of construction on roadways and environmentally sensitive areas.”

He says work has also begun in York and Dauphin counties. Lancaster and Lebanon counties will see construction soon.

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