Sinkholes open at homes near Pennsylvania pipeline project

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Sinkholes open at homes near Pa. pipeline project. Annie McCormick reports during Action News at 4:30pm on March 5, 2018. (WPVI)

Residents in one Chester County neighborhood say they're fed up with an ongoing pipeline project.

The latest issue: sinkholes that are forcing some residents out of their homes.

Work crews were out all day Monday, but the state senator representing the community in West Whiteland Township said he may call for an emergency to halt construction.

The latest sinkhole appeared in the 400 block of Lisa Drive on Saturday. Neighbors said residents had to evacuate.

But it's nothing new for the neighborhood, which isn't far from the construction site for the Sunoco pipeline project.

T.J. Allen has a sinkhole the size of a swimming pool in his backyard. He said the ground began to open in November.

"While they were doing a 24-hour dig they created another sinkhole next to my existing sinkhole. We didn't realize it until the next day that it also created another sinkhole up here," he said.

Sunoco officials said they took immediate action. They released a statement on Monday reading, in part:

"...We injected an approved liquid concrete mix or sometimes referred to as "flowable fill" into holes that were created by soil movement. This action has been completed and all areas have been secured..."

The pipeline under construction will carry ethane, butane and propane through Pennsylvania, ending in Marcus Hook. One pipeline is currently active.

Residents are scared and are questioning if filling the hole with concrete was the right call. Allen said there is a lack of transparency.

"This is serious. People are going to get hurt," he said.

State Senator Andrew Dinniman said there is no coordination of state agencies, making the entire process frustrating. He arrived on Monday after multiple calls from concerned constituents.

"I'm sure the citizens and myself will ask the PUC for an emergency order to stop until further evaluation of both the original pipeline and construction of the new pipeline," he said.

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