AP

Company faces criminal charges over pipeline explosion

Feb 2, 2022, 1:39 PM | Updated: 2:20 pm

An energy company already charged with violating Pennsylvania environmental laws during construction of a multibillion-dollar pipeline system is facing more legal trouble after prosecutors filed a new criminal case alleging its negligence led to the explosion of a different pipeline near Pittsburgh.

ETC Northeast Pipeline LLC, a subsidiary of Dallas-based Energy Transfer LP, botched construction of the Revolution pipeline, a 42-mile pipeline that runs from Butler County to a natural gas processing plant in Washington County, the attorney general’s office alleged Tuesday. The company was charged with nine misdemeanor counts under the state’s Clean Streams Law.

A 2018 landslide along the pipeline’s route in Beaver County triggered a gas explosion and fire that destroyed a home, a barn and several cars, collapsed six high-voltage transmission towers, and prompted an evacuation. The family whose home was destroyed awakened to a loud roar and saw an “orange glow bright as day” but managed to escape, a grand jury wrote in a report issued Tuesday.

The pipeline failed just two weeks after being placed into service. An investigation found the landslide was triggered by ETC’s failure to install adequate erosion control equipment at the hillside site.

The “explosion happened because of Energy Transfer’s negligence as they built the Revolution pipeline,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in a written statement.

Energy Transfer said it looks forward to resolving the case. A conviction could result in fines and restitution.

The charges “come as no surprise to us, as these are not new or additional claims,” said a company spokesperson, Vicki Granado. She said Energy Transfer has been discussing the case with Shapiro’s office “and will continue to work with them and look forward to getting these issues resolved.”

The state Department of Environmental Protection previously levied a $30 million civil fine on Energy Transfer after determining the company violated numerous regulations during construction of the Revolution pipeline.

The financial penalty was part of a 2020 settlement agreement between the environmental agency and ETC in which the state agreed to lift a moratorium on construction permits it had imposed on Energy Transfer nearly a year earlier.

That allowed the company to resume construction on its much larger Mariner East pipeline network, which takes natural gas liquids from the Marcellus Shale gas field in western Pennsylvania to an export terminal near Philadelphia.

In October, Shapiro filed 48 criminal counts against Energy Transfer, accusing the company of illegally releasing industrial waste at 22 sites in 11 counties during construction of Mariner East. Shapiro said Energy Transfer ruined the drinking water of at least 150 families statewide. A spill of thousands of gallons of drilling fluid contaminated wetlands, a stream and part of a 535-acre lake at Marsh Creek State Park outside Philadelphia.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

The U.S. Supreme Court is seen, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024, in Washington. The U.S. Supreme Court has h...

Associated Press

Supreme Court decision on Trump’s election status could come Monday morning

A SCOTUS decision could come Monday in the case about whether Trump can be kicked off the ballot over his efforts to undo his 2020 defeat.

17 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley poses for a selfie after speakin...

Associated Press

Nikki Haley wins D.C. Republican primary, her first 2024 victory

Nikki Haley has won the Republican primary in the District of Columbia, notching her first victory of the 2024 campaign.

17 hours ago

An Apache group that has fought to protect land it considers sacred from a copper mining project in...

Associated Press

A US appeals court ruling could allow mine development in central Arizona on land sacred to Apaches

An Apache group that has fought to protect land from a copper mining project in central Arizona suffered a significant blow.

22 hours ago

On Friday, March 1, 2024, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said yogurt sold in the U.S. can ma...

Associated Press

Eating yogurt may reduce risk of type 2 diabetes, FDA says

Eating at least two cups of yogurt a week might reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.

24 hours ago

Arizona will not approve new housing construction on the fast-growing edges of metro Phoenix that r...

Associated Press

Arizona Senate passes plan to manage rural groundwater, but final success is uncertain

A plan to manage rural groundwater passed the Arizona Senate amid concerns about the availability of sufficient water for future generations.

3 days ago

A woman pauses while shopping at a Kohl's store in Clifton, N.J., Jan. 26, 2024. On Thursday, Feb. ...

Associated Press

Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge picked up last month in sign of still-elevated prices

An inflation gauge favored by the Federal Reserve increased in January, the latest sign that the slowdown in U.S. consumer price increases is occurring unevenly from month to month.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

Company faces criminal charges over pipeline explosion