Sunoco Pipeline Drilling Causes 1,500 Gallons of Mud to Dump Into Creek

Crews worked to pump the mud from the Delaware County stream this week.

mariner east 2, pipeline, sunoco

Image via claffra/

A leak at a drilling site for Sunoco’s Mariner East 2 pipeline caused about 1,500 gallons of mud to flow into a Delaware County creek this week.

Sunoco officials are referring to the leak, which occurred around 1 p.m. Monday near the Chester Creek in Middletown Township, as an “inadvertent return of drilling mud,” according to NBC10

The mud reportedly consists of water and non-toxic bentonite clay, which is used to lubricate drilling equipment underground.

“On occasion the mud will find a seam in the earth and return to the surface,” a Sunoco spokesperson told the news organization.

Crews worked to contain the leak and pump mud out of the creek this week. According to the Pa. Department of Environmental Protection, there’s no health risk associated with the leak, nor is there an expected long-term impact to the creek. The Sunoco spokesperson said there were no reports of impacts to water supples.

The state DEP and Middletown Township are investigating the effects of the leak.

Sunoco began constructing the controversial $2.5 billion, 350-mile Mariner East 2 natural gas pipeline in February. It will stretch from Ohio and western Pennsylvania to Marcus Hook, Delaware County.

The company has recently encountered drilling issues in Chester County as well. Last week, Sunoco agreed to pay to connect about 30 homes in Chester County to public water supply after residents complained that the drilling tainted their private water wells. Several days earlier, officials in West Goshen Township successfully requested an emergency order to halt “unapproved” construction at a pipeline valve station.

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