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Democracy on hold: States are canceling public meetings amid coronavirus crisis

Posted On: 30 Mar 2020   |   Posted By: Grist

Democracy on hold: States are canceling public meetings amid coronavirus crisis

On April 14, Rosemary Fuller had planned to speak at a public hearing held by Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection about a natural gas pipeline that will run 150 feet from her home in the suburbs west of Philadelphia. It would be the first of three upcoming hearings to discuss new permits that Sunoco, the company that owns the pipeline, had applied for to modify its drilling technique and route in certain areas.
Construction of the pipeline, which is called Mariner East II, has been riddled with problems since it began in 2017. Fuller hasn't been able to drink water from her tap since July 2019, when she discovered the drilling had contaminated her well. She can no longer walk her dogs around the loop at a nearby park - part of it was closed off after drilling opened up four sinkholes there. To date, Sunoco has paid more than $13 million in penalties for Mariner East-related construction violations, and the pipeline is the subject of three criminal investigations. Fuller and six...

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