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Trench Digging For Pipeline Wins Approval Rather Than HDD

NORRISTOWN — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection completed a review to approve Mariner East pipeline modification requests in Chester and Delaware counties.

Drilling sites near Tunbridge Apartments in Delaware County and Lisa Drive in Chester County are impacted.

The route and installation method for the 16-inch and 20-inch diameter pipelines will change from the Horizontal Directional Drill installation method for the 20-inch and portions of the 16-inch diameter pipelines to open trench construction through wetlands at the Tunbridge Apartments in Delaware County, with conventional auger bore under Glen Riddle Road, a direct pipe bore under Riddlewood Drive and the Southeast Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s Railroad adjacent to Glen Riddle Road.

In Upper Uwchlan Township, the route and installation method for the 16- and 20-inch diameter pipelines requested by Sunoco/Energy Transfer, to convert the installation method of both the 16-inch and 20-inch diameter pipelines from an HDD to an open trench construction and one conventional bore to minimize impacts to Waters of the Commonwealth at Meadow Creek Lane and avoid potential future expansion of the PA Turnpike I-76 was given the go-ahead.

Tammy Krumbhaar lives on Meadow Creek Lane and said she was asked at a township meeting whether she and her neighbors would prefer the pipeline follow down her street or through private properties. It was later decided that the pipeline would be dug through the street.

“Residents didn’t choose this pipeline,” Krumbhaar said. “We don’t want this in our development.”

In West Whiteland Township, this permit amendment modifies the installation method for the 20-inch diameter pipeline requested by Sunoco to change the installation method for the 20-inch diameter pipeline from an HDD to a direct pipe bore and open trench construction. The direct pipe bore will go under the Exton Bypass (State Route 30) and, the AMTRAK and Norfolk Southern Railroad rail lines near Lisa Drive.

The remaining 1,269 feet will be installed using open trench construction. The change in installation method will not result in any increase in permanent impacts to the same wetland area or any other Waters of the Commonwealth as set forth in the original Chapter 105 permit for Chester County.

“These approvals have undergone substantial and thorough reviews by technical staff, with careful consideration given to comments received from the public,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “DEP remains committed to exercising its regulatory authority to the fullest extent possible under applicable laws, regulations, and permits. We expect and anticipate that by approving these modifications, potential future impacts to the environment will be minimized, if not avoided entirely.”

More detailed information regarding these modifications, including the amended permits and comment response document, can be found at DEP’s Mariner East 2 webpage on its Pipeline Portal at


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