An affiliate of Energy Transfer LP is appealing an order issued by Pennsylvania regulators last month that prevents the company from filling the Revolution Pipeline with natural gas over ongoing concerns about unstable sections following an explosion in 2018. 

In an appeal filed with the state Environmental Hearing Board, which oversees decisions made by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), ETC Northeast Pipeline LLC called DEP’s order “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable.”

ETC has been working to bring the pipeline back online for more than two years. However, DEP charged in its order last month that the company violated a consent order and agreement  (COA) signed earlier this year. The COA also required that ETC comply with a conditional approval letter authorizing ETC’s slope stabilization plan, landslide hazard evaluation and erosion and sedimentation control plan. The order prevents the company from filling the line until it is permanently stabilized. 

ETC said in its appeal “there is nothing in the conditional approval letter or COA that allows the department to prevent ETC from operating the Revolution Pipeline or from placing the Revolution Pipeline in service until full implementation” of a permanent stabilization plan. 

Energy Transfer has claimed since the order was issued that it is not in violation of the COA and has said DEP’s actions are an example of how the agency had “prioritized its hostility toward ETC over environmental protection.” The company said it has completed some stabilization work and is waiting for DEP to review other plans.

The pipeline was being packed with gas and brought online only days before the explosion in September 2018, when unusually wet weather was blamed for the landslide that caused it to separate. The incident scorched nearby forests, destroyed a home, barn and vehicles, and caused six high voltage electric transmission towers to collapse. There were no injuries.

The system gathers 400 MMcf/d from production fields in Butler County, PA, for delivery to a processing facility in Washington County, PA.