Pennsylvania DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn yesterday announced that the commonwealth has reached a settlement with Sunoco Pipeline, L.P., that will require the company to dredge Ranger Cove in the 535-acre lake at Marsh Creek State Park in Chester County.
Sunoco will also pay $4 million for natural resource damages, which will be used to restore and improve visitor experiences at the park, and a $341,000 civil penalty for permit violations.
In August 2020, drilling fluids and mud were discharged into Ranger Cove in Marsh Creek Lake during Sunoco’s pipeline installation, requiring the cove to be closed. The lake is used year-round for fishing and sailing, and provides important habitat for migrating birds. Nearby tributaries and wetlands also were impacted.
The settlement agreement requires Sunoco to:
- Dredge at minimum the top 6 inches of sediment in about 15 acres of Ranger Cove. It’s anticipated the dredging of Ranger Cove will begin in April 2022 and will be completed by July 2022;
- Replace all fish, turtle and bird habitat structures impacted by dredging;
- Dewater and transport all dredging material from the lake and restore the shoreline and streamside forest buffers;
- Post a $4 million bond to ensure the performance of its obligations;
- Pay $4 million dollars for natural resource damages to be used by DCNR for rehabilitation and improvements to the park, including an accessible boat launch, stream and shoreline restoration, invasive species suppression, efficiency measures that will take the park to net zero energy, and to add a public visitor center to the park office;
- Pay a civil penalty of $341,000 for permit violations that will be paid to the Clean Water Fund.