Sunoco sues homeowners over pipeline

By Peter H. Milliken


Sunoco Pipeline L.P. of Philadelphia has sued owners of four Boardman homes, alleging they have breached its pipeline easement because they won’t allow Sunoco to install an additional oil pipeline in the easement, which passes through their land.

The defendants, who were sued in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, are Mark P. and Rosemary C. Robinson and Rocco DiGennaro Jr. and Theresa L. DiGennaro, all of Glenwoods Court; Suzanne Aey-Tyler and Craig Tyler of Glenwood Avenue; and Stephen F. Sullivan III and Angela Sullivan of Green Bay Drive.

In its recent lawsuits, Sunoco said it has a contractual right under a 1930- vintage easement to lay an additional pipeline for $150 within the easement, which already contains buried 6-inch and 10-inch pipelines.

The lawsuits ask the court to issue an injunction barring the homeowners from interfering with the new installation.

The installation “will require only temporary excavation” adjacent to the existing pipelines, after which “the affected area will be reclaimed” and no one will be harmed by the project, Sunoco said.

In its motion for the injunction, Sunoco said it is now installing a new multimillion-dollar pipeline across northern Ohio, known as the Allegheny Access Pipeline, which will transport petroleum products from Midwestern refineries to eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania.

“To avoid encumbering additional lands with this new pipeline, Sunoco plans to construct the pipeline alongside its existing pipeline, where it already possesses easements,” explained Sunoco, which said it has invested “years of planning into the project.”

Construction of such pipelines provides economic benefits to the region, ensures a steady and direct fuel supply, and provides a safe and clean alternative to transporting petroleum in tanker trucks and trains, the motion says.

If the project is delayed or derailed, there would be “irreparable injury to both Sunoco and the general public that is to be served by the pipeline,” Sunoco’s motion says.

“To meet its deadlines and its contractual obligations to the shipping companies, who will transport their products through this pipeline, Sunoco must begin construction very soon,” the motion says, without being specific as to the construction timetable.

The DiGennaros, Sullivans and Robinsons could not be reached for comment.

Aey-Tyler declined to comment and referred a reporter to her lawyer, Bill Goldman of Columbus, who could not be reached for comment.

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