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Posted on: July 14, 2020

Sinkholes from pipeline construction

Yet again, a sinkhole opened up where Energy Transfer installed pipelines.  In the spring, ET bored under Route 100 from Coeway Lane near Sunrise Assisted Living to Whiteland West Apartments.  On August 4th, a sinkhole was found in the shoulder of Route 100, in front of the former UFC gym.  The hole was filled that night. ET is conducting geophysical testing.

In the past month, Energy Transfer bored under Lincoln Highway and the Chester Valley Trail (CVT) to install casing for the new pipelines. That work caused sinkholes to open up over the course of several weeks in June and July. The sinkholes followed the construction path of the bore and did not expose any nearby operating pipelines or create hazards in Lincoln Highway. The PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and PA Public Utility Commission (PUC) were on site to inspect the sinkholes.

The PUC continues to investigate whether there could be voids underground in that area that have not yet opened up as sinkholes. As part of the investigation, Energy Transfer conducted geophysical tests around the CVT and found a void 30 feet underground, which was filled.  As a result of that void and other earth disturbances that were found near the trail, the PUC required additional geophysical testing near the CVT.  The results of that testing are under review.

Energy Transfer completed installation of the pipes through the casing.  Pipeline construction continues on the north side of Lincoln Hwy and the Chester Valley Trail in Meadowbrook Manor. Energy Transfer continues to monitor 24/7 for signs of any more sinkholes and conduct ground penetrating radar several times daily.

West Whiteland Township does not own or regulate the impacted infrastructure or regulate the pipeline construction and therefore does not have jurisdiction to impose requirements. However, Township officials have urged the PUC to require further testing around the sinkholes to confirm the integrity of the operating pipelines, Lincoln Highway and the Chester Valley Trail, and are pleased to see that taking place. The Board of Supervisors asked the PUC to shut down operating pipelines until the review is complete.

Letter from BOS to PUC
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