A 50-mile pipeline to cross from Washington to Westmoreland
February 7, 2013 5:00 am
By Tom Barnes
Folks who live in parts of Washington and Westmoreland counties can expect to see a "big ditch" being dug across the region starting in midsummer.
Sunoco Oil Co. plans to construct an underground pipeline about 50 miles long, starting in Houston, Washington County, and stretching to Delmont, Westmoreland County. It will carry liquid products derived from natural gas, such as propane and ethane.
When they reach Delmont, the "hydrocarbon derivatives" from the natural gas will be shipped through an existing pipeline that stretches all the way across the state to the southeastern Pennsylvania town of Marcus Hook, on the border of Pennsylvania and Delaware.
Marcus Hook is a large port and industrial complex along the Delaware River that once was the site of an oil refinery, said Joseph McGinn, a spokesman for Sunoco, which is headquartered in Philadelphia.
The natural gas products to be shipped under high pressure through the new Houston-to-Delmont pipeline will come from the massive area of Marcellus Shale that is deep underground.
Sunoco said the pipeline is one part of a $600 million project called Mariner East. Mr. McGinn said Sunoco is "in the site survey process to determine the route of the pipeline."
The pipeline will be run just south and east of the Pittsburgh border, but the exact route and the exact properties involved haven't been disclosed yet. The precise route probably won't be known for at least two more weeks.
Construction "will follow existing utility rights-of-way wherever possible, to minimize impacts to communities," Sunoco said in a statement.
Houston Mayor James Stubenbordt said he hasn't been told which properties in his area will be affected. "Nobody has met with us to discuss this," he said in a phone interview Tuesday. He said a council meeting is scheduled for next week, but he doesn't know whether Sunoco wi