Pa. shuts down pipeline over sinkhole

State regulators are temporarily shutting down a major pipeline after sinkholes exposed the 8-inch-diameter pipe, threatening nearby homes and a rail line.

READ MORE: Residents meet with Sunoco and township officials over pipeline| Homeowners frustrated over Sunoco pipeline construction

Tiny yellow flags running in a line through the backyards of homes in West Whiteland Township mark the path of the Mariner 1 East pipeline--an 80-year-old, 8-inch pipe carrying natural gas liquids--now shutdown.

The order came Wednesday from a Pennsylvania regulator who wrote allowing the hazardous liquids to continue to flow:

"...could have a catastrophic result impacting the public..."

Energy giant--Sunoco--operates the Mariner 1 East and is in the process of running two new, highly controversial pipelines in the same area.

The shutdown was ordered after a sinkhole opened exposing the bare pipeline.

"If you are going to be a responsible corporate neighbor the key is to protect the safety and health of residents. They did not do that appropriately," Senator Andy Dinneman/(D) said.

Dinniman, a critic of the entire project, says residents alerted the state to the sinkhole not Sunoco.

Sunoco now has to wait take 10 to 14 days to make sure the Mariner East 1 is safe.

A spokesperson for the company writes:

"The safe operation of our pipelines is of critical importance to us..."