Source: https://stateimpact.npr.org, July 19, 2017
By: Susan Phillips
Construction of Sunoco Pipeline’s $3 billion 350-mile long Mariner East 2 pipeline resulted in at least 61 drilling mud spills from April 25 through June 17, 2017, according to newly released documents. The spills have occurred in ten of the 12 counties along the route and range from minor releases of five gallons to larger more serious releases of tens of thousands of gallons. The documents, pasted below, include reports of “inadvertent returns,” and were released by the Department of Environmental Protection as part of ongoing litigation by the Clean Air Council challenging the department’s issuing of water crossing permits for the project last February.
The Council wants the Environmental Hearing Board to suspend construction while its case is pending review, but has so far been unsuccessful.
The spills primarily contain bentonite, a muddy clay substance used as a lubricant in drilling beneath waterways during horizontal directional drilling. Bentonite is non-toxic but can do damage to drinking water wells by clogging up an aquifer. A recent incident in Chester County forced 15 families to switch to bottled water and the company has since agreed to pay to hook residents up to the public water supply after some resident’s water wells went dry, and others experienced cloudy water.…
Source: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com, July 18, 2017
By: Ian Bush
A week after Sunoco agreed to address concerns that its pipeline construction was tainting well water in one Chester County community, two new problems have cropped up — this time, in part of Media, Delaware County.
Its plastic barrier and hay bales, are no match for the deluge along Martins Lane and Glen Riddle Road in Middletown Township.
A spokesman for Sunoco’s Mariner East 2 pipeline calls it a “considerable amount of groundwater” pouring from the drill pad.
He notes no reports of problems with public or private water sources.
It’s the same spot that saw what the company calls “an inadvertent return of drilling mud” — a mixture of water and bentonite clay used to lubricate the underground horizontal boring equipment.
About 1,500 gallons spilled into Chester Creek. Crews worked to pump out that mud.
The state Department of Environmental Protection says there’s no health risk, no reported fish kills from the non-toxic mixture, and no expected long-term impact to the creek.…
Source: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com, January 3, 2018
By: Jim Melwert
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has ordered all construction work to be halted on the $2.5 billion natural gas pipeline that runs from western Pennsylvania to Delaware County’s Marcus Hook.
A 24-page report from DEP cites numerous permit violations by Sunoco on the Mariner East 2 pipeline and suspends all construction permits until the company meets the requirements outlined in the order.
DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell says in a press release, “Until Sunoco can demonstrate that the permit conditions can and will be followed, DEP has no alternative but to suspend the permits.”…
Source: http://boston.cbslocal.com, September 18, 2017
By: Ken MacLeod
There are health concerns in a Wilmington neighborhood after a construction crew started tearing down a house filled with asbestos, without following the proper safety procedures.
The issue was so bad; the Department of Environmental Protection was summoned to oversee things. When neighbors complained, it did bring about change.
Dave Norton worries about his granddaughter and his neighbors after the demolition triggered a cloud of asbestos dust.…
Source: http://www.duluthnewstribune.com, June 25, 2017
By: Brooks Johnson
A homeowners association is suing the developer, builder and manager of the Superior Vista condominiums, among others, claiming the Mesaba Avenue complex was not properly built and ought to be repaired under warranty.
“Many areas of the building were not built to applicable building code, industry standard and/or engineering specifications … all of which is allowing for excessive water intrusion, deterioration and decay,” reads the suit by the Superior Vista Homeowners Association filed in St. Louis County District Court last fall.
It’s exactly the kind of suit that some say has discouraged new condo development in recent years, and one that could become less common due to a change in state law that passed the Legislature earlier this year.
“The number of townhomes and condos being built have dramatically dropped, in part because of this legal landscape,” said David Siegel, executive director of the Builders Association of the Twin Cities. “If the liability is so great, and the costs are so great, we’re just going to stay away.”
Legislation pushed by Siegel’s group aims to slow down the liability lawsuits by requiring homeowner association membership to vote on such suits; require a maintenance record kept by the association; and mandate mediation before a suit is launched.
“We needed to put guardrails in,” Siegel said. “We don’t want to take away the ability to remedy the problems, but there are less expensive solutions that can solve the problems.”
Source: http://www.journalgazette.net, June 25, 2017
By: Catherine Traywick
Energy Transfer Partners is making a mess of its biggest project since the Dakota Access pipeline.
Construction of the $4.2 billion Rover natural gas line has caused seven industrial spills, polluted fragile Ohio wetlands and angered local farmers. The company owes $1.5 million in restitution after demolishing a historic house.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is furious and a federal energy regulator has launched a rare public investigation that threatens to delay the pipeline’s scheduled Nov. 1 completion.
“We’ve not seen a project in Ohio with spills at this size and scale, and if we can’t even trust Rover to construct this pipeline, how can we trust them to operate it when it’s complete?” said Heather Taylor-Miesle, executive director of the Ohio Environmental Council.
Energy Transfer, the Dallas-based company led by billionaire Kelcy Warren, promised part of the 713-mile pipeline would open in July, but work is stalled on key segments until the company’s responsibility for the spills can be assessed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC.
“We are working with FERC and the OEPA to resolve these issues in a manner that is satisfactory to everyone involved, and most importantly ensures the complete remediation of these areas,” said Energy Transfer spokeswoman Alexis Daniel. Recent developments have not affected the project’s timeline, Daniel said.
Any delay would pinch natural gas producers that contracted to ship on the line, which will bring resources from the Marcellus shale to the Midwest.…
Source: http://www.heraldsun.com, June 21, 2017
By: Virginia Bridges
City officials think the substance that turned part of Ellerbee Creek an oily orange last week may have been due to a city contractor’s mistake.
A city investigation found a city contractor improperly rerouted water meant to go to the city’s sanitary sewer system to a stormwater line, which flows into the creek. Contractor Crowder Construction was working at the Williams Water Treatment Plant on Hillandale Road.
City officials started looking into the issue Thursday, June 15, after receiving a report of the creek’s discoloration on the city’s stormwater hotline, where people can report pollution. The roughly 20-mile-long creek flows into Falls Lake, Raleigh’s primary drinking water supply.
Patrick Hogan, a city water quality technician, said the substance resembled a naturally occurring iron-oxide bacteria rarely found in a flowing stream.
Hogan walked the creek and found a break in the color near an outfall pipe, he said. He looked at maps of the drainage network, which led him to the treatment plant and the improperly routed pipe.…
Source: http://norcalrecord.com, February 28, 2017
By: Charmaine Little
Plaintiffs in a major construction lawsuit that ended with a San Diego law firm recovering nearly $5 million have decided to stay silent after the ruling was in their favor.
The law firm, which represented Laurel Bay Community Association, won $4.7 million in the case that was filed Aug. 21, 2013, against the developer and converter, Hammer Development LLC and Hammer Laurel Condominiums LLC. The suit was also a complaint against the original contractors, Simpson Laurel Bay LP, SHLP Laurel Bay LLC and GWC Contractors LP. The development was slated to be a new apartment complex in 2004 before it was turned into a set of residential condominiums in 2005.
Commercials Metal Company is listed as one of the primary plaintiffs in the high-profile case. It refused to speak on the $4.7 million ruling.
“We do not comment on litigation matters,” Susan Gerber, manager of public relations for Commercial Metals Company, told the Northern California Record.…
Source: http://www.natlawreview.com, February 1, 2017
By: Barbara J. Jordan, P.E., S.I. and Donald B. Leach, Jr.
In 2008, Ohio Northern University (ONU) entered into a contract with Charles Construction Services, Inc. (CCS) for the construction of The Inn, a new luxury hotel and conference center on ONU’s Campus, consisting of 57,000 square feet of space, including guest rooms, meeting rooms, kitchen, laundry, spa, front desk lobby, office area and support areas. After construction was complete, ONU discovered damage to the Inn caused by water intrusion and moisture in The Inn’s wall coverings, dry wall, insulation and exterior walls.1 Remediation of this damage led to the discovery of additional structural defects.2 ONU subsequently brought a claim against CCS in 2012 seeking damages relating to the deficient construction services. CCS then brought third-party claims against many of its subcontractors that performed the work, which resulted in the alleged property damage.
CCS’s insurer, Cincinnati Insurance Company (CIC), intervened in the lawsuit and filed a motion for summary judgment, asking the Hancock County Court of Common Pleas3 to dismiss it from its obligation to defend CCS, relying upon the Ohio Supreme Court’s precedent from Westfield Ins. Co. v. Custom Agri Systems, Inc.4 In Westfield Ins., the Supreme Court of Ohio held “that claims of defective construction or workmanship brought by a property owner are not claims for ‘property damage’ caused by an ‘occurrence’ under a commercial general liability policy.”5…
Source: http://www.jdsupra.com, February 7, 2017
By: Brian Margolies, Traub Lieberman Strauss & Shrewsberry LLP
In its recent decision in Saarman Construction, Ltd. v. Ironshore Specialty Ins. Co., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13633 (N.D. Cal. Jan 31, 2017), the United States District Court for the Northern District of California had occasion to consider the application of a continuous and progressive injury exclusion in the context of a construction defect claim.
The underlying suit arose out of Saarman’s work as a general contractor at a condominium complex performed in 2006 and 2007 to address pre-existing water intrusion problems. In 2011, a lessee of one of the units sued the unit owner, claiming that her unit suffered from several defects, including mold, plumbing leaks and water intrusion. The unit owner, in turn, sued several parties, including Saarman based on the theory that it failed to remedy the defects, which contributed to the mold growth.
Ironshore insured Saarman under a general liability policy issued for the period June 30, 2010 to June 30, 2011. The policy contained an exclusion applicable to any claim alleging bodily injury or property damage “arising out of, in whole or in part, the actual, alleged or threatened discharge … of any mold, mildew, bacteria or fungus.” The policy also contained an exclusion applicable to any bodily injury or property damage:…