WEST CHESTER – October 5, 2021 – State Senator Carolyn Comitta, Minority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, issued the following statement regarding today’s announcement that Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is filing criminal charges against Energy Transfer Partners for environmental crimes related to the Mariner East pipeline project:
“In light of these serious criminal charges against Energy Transfer Partner, I am calling for an immediate halt to the Mariner East pipeline project and for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to issue a moratorium on all permits.
These charges allege a pattern of behavior from Energy Transfer that put our environment, our communities, and our very public health and safety at significant risk. Worse yet, according to the charges, Energy Transfer repeatedly and willfully failed to oversee, notify, and report inadvertent returns, spills, and contamination of streams, waterways, wells, and sources of drinking water.
It is now imperative that the project be halted and the investigation continue to determine the complete scope of the impacts of these alleged crimes. I thank Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan for working to hold Energy Transfer criminally accountable.
And I am committed to working with the Attorney General’s office, DEP, local officials and stakeholders, and my colleagues in the legislature to ensure stronger oversight, tighter regulations, and stiffer penalties.
Pennsylvanians have a constitutional right to ‘clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment.’ As Attorney General Shapiro expressed today and as is reflected in these charges and potential penalties, we need better laws, increased oversight, and more resources to protect those rights and to protect our communities, families, and natural resources.”