Howard concerned with lifting of troublesome oil company’s permit ban

MALVERN, Jan. 3 – State Rep. Kristine Howard, D-Chester, expressed hesitant support for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's oversight of Energy Transfer Partners, the Texas-based company that owns the Mariner East 2 pipeline. The DEP issued a $30.6 million civil penalty to ETC Northeast Pipeline , a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners, for violations related to the 2018 Revolution Pipeline explosion and fire. The DEP also lifted a permit ban, which has been in place since 2018.

“I am pleased to see the DEP holding drillers to account,” Howard said, “yet can’t help but feel underwhelmed. Fines like this are little more than the cost of doing business for multi-billion-dollar companies like Energy Transfer Partners. And the lifting of the longstanding permit ban is a tremendously unwarranted leap of faith in a company that has consistently shown itself a bad actor.”

The DEP suspended all reviews of permit applications and approvals for ETC after the Revolution pipeline explosion. ETC has “demonstrated its intention to correct its unlawful conduct to DEP’s satisfaction,” according to the regulatory agency.

“No amount of money can make up for the devastation ETC has caused,” Howard said. “The DEP’s fine is a symbolic gesture, but I am worried the lifting of the permit ban is an invitation for ETC to resume dangerous, uncaring business as usual. I will continue reviewing the matter, and will speak with the DEP to ensure all parties are held to account.”

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About Rep. Kristine Howard – Kristine Howard (D-Chester) was elected state representative for the 167th Legislative District in November 2018. The district includes Charlestown, East Whiteland, Easttown, West Pikeland, West Whiteland, Willistown Township, and Malvern Borough.