Court: city must deliver emails to pipeline builder

A judge on Friday ordered the publication of emails between officials in a Philadelphia suburb and the developer of a gas pipeline charged with environmental crimes related to construction of the multibillion-dollar project.

Middletown Township officials have refused to produce the records for nearly a year, saying they were exempt from disclosure under the state’s Open Records Act. Energy Transfer, the owner of the Mariner East pipeline system, also opposed their release.

A Delaware County judge on Friday ruled the records were public and ordered the township to turn them over to the owners of a 124-unit apartment complex along the pipeline route.

Energy Transfer subsidiary Sunoco Pipeline LP, which installed two new pipelines to transport natural gas liquids from the Marcellus Shale gas field in western Pennsylvania to an export terminal near Philadelphia, has seized a property private to Glen Riddle Station Apartments for the pipeline project.

The owners of Glen Riddle say the construction of the pipeline threatened the health and safety of residents. The route of the pipeline divides the apartment complex into two.

“From day one, we believed the public had a right to know what discussions and agreements had taken place between Energy Transfer / Sunoco and Middletown Township,” Stephen Iacobucci, a representative of the apartment complex’s ownership group, said on Friday. , in a press release. “We thank the tribunal for agreeing with us, and we look forward to examining exactly what has happened to enable Sunoco to do what it has done to our community.”

Last week, the state attorney general’s office indicted Energy Transfer with 48 charges relating to the construction of Mariner East, most of them illegally releasing industrial waste at 22 sites in 11 counties across the state. . A grand jury report cites numerous drilling fluid spills at the Glen Riddle construction site.

Additionally, residents of Glen Riddle had no potable water when a water line serving the complex was ruptured in May during construction of the pipeline.

Iacobucci called on Sunoco to stop construction until the criminal charges are resolved, saying: “They show no respect for the people who live here and have put our communities and our environment at unnecessary risk.”

Emails were sent to the Middletown Township Director and a spokesperson for Energy Transfer on Friday for comment.

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