User avatar
By sandbagger2
#493335
eriknben10 wrote:From my conversations with the men working on it the cleanups happen regularly. My guess would be that was figured in. :wink:


So ALL of these IR's were expected? :shock:
User avatar
By eriknben10
#493336
I suppose they can't guess when, where, or frequency but it is a common occurrence. No lasting harm from a mud spill. The most important part is they clean it up and are held accountable. I think that will be done in any event as the pipeline moves toward completion.

Can you imagine what they will go thru to build the 190-mile pipeline that will originate in Rising Sun, Maryland and extend down the Eastern Shore to Accomack, Virginia. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
User avatar
By eriknben10
#493364
There went 10 seconds of profit! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
User avatar
By sandbagger2
#493402
http://www.philly.com/philly/business/energy/pipeline-explosion-2015-atex-mariner-east-me2-risk-assessment-20180209.html

FOLLANSBEE, W.Va. — There was no smell, no sound, and no warning before the pipeline exploded on the far side of Ed Dillon’s pasture, causing him, his family, and four grazing horses to instinctively conduct what the government euphemistically calls a “self-evacuation” — they ran for their lives.

“It got so hot, so quick,” said Dillon, 67, recalling that winter morning three years ago. Though the 20-inch diameter high-pressure pipeline rupture was located more than two football fields away, the heat was so intense it cracked the windows on his house and warped the vinyl siding.


Follansbee Fire Chief Larry Rea shot this video of the ATEX Pipeline explosion in 2015. Ed Dillon's horse stable is visible in the foreground.
“I’ve never been involved with anything of that magnitude before,” said Larry Rea, 60, the fire chief in Follansbee, which is about four miles from the Pennsylvania border in West Virginia’s northern panhandle. “It sounded like a damn jet engine, and the flame was huge.”

The ATEX Pipeline accident on Jan. 26, 2015, which caused no injuries, involved the same highly volatile liquids from Marcellus Shale natural gas that Sunoco Pipeline plans to ship on its Mariner East 2 line, now under construction across Pennsylvania. The Mariner project has aroused a growing chorus of protests, especially where the pipeline threads through densely populated Chester and Delaware Counties, as close as 20 feet from some houses.


Camera icon CLEM MURRAY / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Sunoco’s Mariner East pipeline, shown here on Boot Road in East Goshen, passes less than 75 feet from many structures in Chester and Delaware Counties.
Mariner East opponents have cited the accident in West Virginia, which involved a pipeline that had been in service only 13 months, as well as Sunoco’s own spotty record, in calling for a formal risk assessment of the Sunoco project.

“We just want a scientific, impartial, independent assessment of the risk,” said Eric Friedman, a Thornbury resident and spokesman for the Middletown Coalition for Community Safety in Delaware County. Pipeline resisters say a public discussion on safety never took place when the project was approved.


Camera icon PIPELINE AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS SAFETY ADMINISTRATION
The 2015 ATEX Pipeline explosion in Follansbee, W.Va., generated such intense heat that it damaged the vinyl siding of a house 700 feet away.
Sunoco Pipeline, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners LP, says its $5.1 billion Mariner East project meets or exceeds all federal safety standards. The project aims to transport gas liquids — mostly ethane, propane, and butane — through three adjacent pipelines to an industrial complex and export terminal in Marcus Hook.

“It is important to note that safety and risk reduction are built into the strict federal regulations that pipeline operators have to follow, and we have performed the required safety analyses for our systems and shared information with our regulators and emergency services officials,” Sunoco spokesman Jeff Shields said in an email response to questions.

Problems with the ongoing construction have done little to lift public confidence in Sunoco’s project. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection on Thursday fined Sunoco $12.6 million after lifting its five-week suspension of construction permits for “egregious and willful violations.”

And now the project is taking on political dimensions. After voters ousted Republican officials in two Chester County communities in November, elected officials stepped up calls for a risk analysis, and the Delaware County Council is considering a vote to commission such a study. A coalition of opposition groups has launched an online campaign to raise $50,000 to pay for its own study, which would quantify the project’s risk to human life and property.

“The citizens are smart enough to realize that now is the time for a risk assessment and to start the discussion because in November half of the Senate, the whole House, and the governor will be running for reelection,” said State Sen. Andy Dinniman (D., Chester). Dinniman, along with State Sen. John Rafferty (R., Montgomery), has introduced a package of bills that would increase pipeline oversight and assess an impact fee on pipeline operators.


Camera icon PIPELINE AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS SAFETY ADMINISTRATION
Two other pipelines are buried in the area of the ATEX Pipeline, which ruptured and exploded in 2015. The other pipelines were unaffected.
Richard Kuprewicz, an independent pipeline safety expert, questioned the value of a quantitative risk assessment (QRA). Though European pipeline regulators require a risk assessment, he said, no legal standards have been set in this country on how to measure the risk, which would require a regulatory authority to set an acceptable mortality rate for a pipeline.

“I’ll be real blunt here, but what is your acceptable kill threshold?” he said. “That’s a hard way to look at that, and it’s not an issue that you can get a yes or no answer to. … If you’re on the receiving end of a pipeline, and you don’t want it, you’re probably going to take a position that the threshold should be zero.”

Kuprewicz said he did not think a risk assessment would solve anything. “It’s just going to make the opponents angrier or more fearful, and Sunoco could argue they are not under any obligation,” he said.

The U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) tallied 13 fatalities and 42 injuries in 26 “serious” incidents between 1998 and 2017 involving pipelines that carry “highly volatile liquids,” a category that includes the ethane, butane, and propane that will be transported through the Mariner East system.

Chester and Delaware Counties are crisscrossed with no fewer than 10 pipelines transporting natural gas or natural gas liquids, Sunoco said. “They safely pass close to schools, hospitals, senior living facilities, and homes,” said Shields, the company spokesman. “They have done so for decades and do so today because of the strict regulations that protect our communities.”


Camera icon ANDREW MAYKUTH / INQUIRER STAFF
Larry Rea, the fire chief in Follansbee, W.Va., recently revisited the site of the 2015 ATEX Pipeline accident. “There really was not much we could do other than contain the area, and keep people away,” he said.
The Mariner East system is unique in size and proximity to population, opponents say. The three pipelines, including the eight-inch diameter Mariner East 1 that is already in service, will carry as much as 675,000 barrels of gas liquids a day, under high pressure. If the liquids leak and lose pressure, they vaporize into a heavier-than-air gas cloud that collects at ground level. The gas itself is not poisonous, but it can suffocate if it displaces enough oxygen. The primary risk is explosion.

While the Mariner East 2 pipeline in Chester County is similar in size to the ATEX Pipeline in West Virginia, the similarities end there. Brooke County, W.Va., is a largely rural area with shuttered steel mills, retired coal mines, and about 30 new shale-gas well sites drilled since the fracking boom took off. Its economy is built on natural resources.

“We’re a coal-mining state, and although it’s very terrible and may affect us, it’s just part of the business,” said Chuck Jackson, former Brooke County sheriff who responded to the 2015 explosion. “You accept the risk. The people, that’s their money. That’s their bread and butter.”

The 1,265-mile ATEX line, which carries ethane from Western Pennsylvania to Texas, is underlain by abandoned coal mines in Brooke County, which cause subsidence that may have contributed to the accident.

It’s not clear how long the ATEX Pipeline was leaking before it exploded on Jan. 26, 2015. The pipeline operators, Enterprise Products Partners L.P., reported a sudden drop in pressure at 9:38 a.m. consistent with what inspectors later found: The pipe had broken at a failed welded joint.


Camera icon PHMSA
The failed girth weld that caused the 20-inch diameter ATEX Pipeline to rupture and explode.
The rupture occurred 12 feet underground, in an area filled with coal-mine debris, according to PHMSA’s 2016 inspection report. The pipeline had sunk three feet since it was built, and the weight of the soil caused the weld to fail.

A high-tension power line passed directly over the site of the rupture, and local authorities speculated that an electrical arc ignited the gas cloud. When it exploded, it created a crater around the broken pipeline, forcing most of the flame upward. About five acres of woods burned.

“I’m not minimizing the extent of the rupture and the accident, but it was an isolated area and the dead of winter, so we really didn’t have to worry about any fires in the surrounding wooded area,” said Rea, the fire chief.

Though the operator shut down flow immediately, a large fireball continued to burn for several hours before subsiding into a smaller fire that was extinguished the following day. PHMSA said 30,565 barrels of ethane were released, and estimated the damage at $6.9 million.

The PHMSA report says the pipeline rupture was located about 2,000 feet from Dillon’s house. But an aerial photo of the site in the agency’s report, as well as a Google Earth view and video of the fire, suggest the distance was closer to 700 feet. Even at that distance, the heat was intense.

“It was just a freak accident,” Dillon said.

The pipeline company put his family up in a suite at the Hampton Inn for three nights, and told him they would make a generous settlement if he did not sue. Dillon says he can’t discuss the settlement, but it covered the cost of home repairs, with enough left over to buy a third Harley motorcycle for his collection, a motor home, and a new pickup truck for a son, and paid off the student loans of his second son.

“I can’t complain,” said Dillon. “They treated us good.” The company sends a surveyor every month to his property to make sure the pipeline is stable.

Dillon recognizes that circumstances might have been different. His family’s deer hunting stand was located about 60 feet from the pipeline rupture. The explosion turned it to ash. The day before the accident, Dillon had been cutting firewood a few feet from the spot that 24 hours later erupted into an inferno.

“If I was 100 feet from that explosion,” he said, “I wouldn’t be here today.”
User avatar
By sandbagger2
#493429
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2018/02/12/she-was-naming-lawmakers-who-took-oil-and-gas-money-so-they-barred-her-from-the-public-hearing/?utm_term=.c57d0928ca2a

She was naming lawmakers who took oil-and-gas money — so they barred her from the public hearing
By Avi Selk February 12 at 10:09 PM Email the author
2:19
Woman removed from W.Va. House of Delegates hearing after listing corporate donors


0:00

(West Virginia Legislature)

Video of a little-known candidate for a statehouse seat in West Virginia went viral over the weekend after she was forcibly removed from a hearing for reciting a list of oil-and-gas donations to lawmakers’ campaigns. Here is her story.

You don’t run for the statehouse in rural West Virginia because you’re in it for the fame. Lissa Lucas hadn’t raised much money either, she said, more than a year into the Democrat’s first campaign for public office.

By February, Lucas wasn’t even sure whether she had a shot at the District 7 seat, 100 miles outside the capital. Her long-term campaign goal was to raise $1,500 for some yard signs, in hopes that the voters would remember her name come November. (It’s Lissa, like Melissa, by the way. Not Lisa.)

Lucas is a writer by trade. She said her best-known work before this month was probably “My Pet Chicken Handbook,” which is exactly what it sounds like.

She jumped into politics, she said, because when her grandfather left her a farmhouse outside Cairo (population 263) some years back, the land came with a gas well on it. Not that Lucas minds the well, but she said state politicians have been taking more and more money from energy companies, which since at least 2015 have been pushing for bills that give their industry more rights over landowners in a state that is already among the nation’s top natural gas producers.

“I feel like no one’s listening to us in rural areas,” Lucas told The Washington Post. “Those pipelines will go through your property whether you’re a Republican or Democrat or libertarian. These companies have been pushing bills that eat away at property rights.”

As it happened, the West Virginia House Judiciary Committee was voting Friday on such a bill — one that would let companies drill on some people’s land without their consent, according to the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

So she drove 100-odd miles to Charleston last week with a two-minute speech in hand, almost none of which she would get to read.

Lucas arrived at the state Capitol before sunrise on Friday — too early; she said she hadn’t been sure of the starting time.

She stood around and chatted with the security guards, she said. She looked over her speech, which was mostly a printout listing committee Republicans and the donations they had taken from donors linked to the oil-and-gas industry.

“I was hoping to make them realize how it looks,” she said. “It’s not just the issue of impropriety. It’s the issue of the appearance of impropriety that’s breaking our government.”

By the time the hearing started, the Gazette-Mail wrote, 30 people had signed up to speak, including natural gas lobbyists.

The first speaker was the state secretary of commerce, who “assured the room the bill would create more jobs,” the paper wrote.

Lucas went second.

“Lisa Lucas,” announced the committee chairman.

“It’s Lissa,” Lucas said.

She adjusted her glasses and looked at her notes. “And first I’d just like to say that, um.”

Lucas had thought she’d have two minutes to speak but had since been told that the limit was only a minute and 45 seconds. Her notes didn’t look likely to fit in that limit, and, anyway, she was a bit fired up about the secretary of commerce’s speech.

“No jobs will be created by this,” Lucas ad-libbed. “I’d also like to point out that the people who are going to be speaking in favor of this bill are going to be paid by the industry. For example, and, I have to keep this short …”

She named Del. Charlotte Lane (R). “About $10,000 from gas and oil interests,” Lucas said, and listed several companies from her list. “I could go on.”

She flipped a page and named the committee chairman, Del. John Shott (R).

“First Energy $2,000,” she said. “Appalachian Power $2,000. Steptoe & Johnson — that’s a gas-and-oil law firm — $2,000. Consol Energy $1,000. EQT $1,000. And I could go on.

“Now let’s talk about Jason Harshbarger —”

In her speech, she had written out a disclaimer noting he was her Republican opponent in District 7, but the chairman interrupted her.

“Ms. Lucas,” Shott said. “We ask no personal comments be made.”

“These are not personal comments.”

“It is a personal comment, and I’m going to call you out of order if you’re talking about individuals on the committee.”

Lucas looked at the chairman. She look at her notes. She considered and kept talking.

“About 40 percent of his money comes . . . First . . . Energy.”

A red light bulb flashed on the lectern in front of her. Her microphone went dead, and two guards approached.

“I want to finish,” Lucas said.

“You’re not going to finish.”

One guard took her right arm. Another took her left.

“Drag me off then,” Lucas said. As they walked her out of the room, she shouted the motto of West Virginia — “Montani semper liberi!” Mountaineers are always free.

[A congressman said making a man get maternity insurance was ‘crazy.’ A woman’s reply went viral.]

Most of the people who spoke after Lucas supported the bill, WVNews reported.

Lucas waited in the foyer all morning, catching snippets of the action when someone opened the door. She apologized to the guard, she said. “I just thought I ruined their morning.”

Maybe she should not have made a scene, she thought. “I was just kind of mad. I thought it was a ridiculous twisting of the rules, to suggest this was a personal attack.”

Rules were rules, Shott told The Post, and Lucas had known she was breaking them. “The purpose of the hearing was not campaign finance,” he said. “I think the whole thing was a setup, to be honest with you.”

He was referring to what happened next.

The committee passed the bill 16 to 9 on a party-line vote in the early afternoon, with a few amendments in favor of landowners.

Afterward, Lucas said, a friend brought her coat out of the chambers. They got a late breakfast, and she drove back to Cairo.

The Internet is slow out in rural West Virginia, Lucas said, so it was a hassle to put the video of her speech up on her campaign’s Facebook page. But why not, she figured. Could not hurt.

“Thank you.”

“You rock!!!!!!!”

“You had every right.”

Comment after comment, tens of thousands of views. By Monday, Lucas was rushing from one interview to the next — from Newsweek to The Post, and her donations approached $20,000 and counting.

“I guess I don’t have to worry about the yard sign,” she said.
User avatar
By sandbagger2
#493433
Wow, they're sticking up for their residents, novel idea. :shock:

Uwchlan vows to use zoning laws to block pipeline work
By Bill Rettew, brettew@dailylocal.com
POSTED: 02/13/18, 6:11 PM EST | UPDATED: 2 HRS AGO 0 COMMENTS


UWCHLAN >> The township board of supervisors voted unanimously Monday to enforce a township zoning ordinance that forbids Sunoco Pipeline from constructing the Mariner East 2 pipeline in the township.

The current route of the pipeline violates the township’s 2014 zoning ordinance, which forbids pipeline construction in high-density areas and near occupied structures such as houses and schools, supervisors said.

Pipeline construction was halted for more than a month after a Jan. 3 ruling by the state Department of Environmental Protection citing “egregious” violations by Sunoco Pipeline during construction. But last week when Sunoco and the DEP signed off on a $12.6 million civil penalty, and as part of the deal Sunoco was given the green light to resume construction on the controversial, 350-mile project.

Along with fellow supervisors, Bill Miller said he takes his duty to protect the people of the township seriously.

“The ME2 pipeline runs near our schools and through our neighborhoods,” Miller said. “Almost every other state in the nation restricts companies from transporting these types of materials through residential areas.”

Carrie Gross of the Uwchlan Safety Coalition was pleased.

“Last night was a proud moment,” she said. “I was proud of my community, proud of my neighbors and proud of my new board of supervisors.

“People are working hard to make a difference. This dangerous pipeline carrying colorless, odorless, heavier than air liquids to Europe does not belong in our community, and I am happy to have supervisors that are willing to uphold our ordinances meant to keep us safe.”

“Gov. Wolf has failed to protect our community, so we are taking action to protect ourselves,” said Rebecca Britton, a leader with Uwchlan Safety Coalition and who was recently elected to the Downingtown Area School Board. “The board of supervisors has the community’s support in taking action.

“Residents fully understand that township ordinances are meant to be the tools in which thoughtful and dynamic leaders can protect the health, welfare, and safety of the people that live here. We are thankful our elected officials are doing just that.”

State Sen. Andy Dinniman, D-19 of West Whiteland, attended the meeting and talked about the settlement agreement. The senator is leading the charge to fund a risk assessment study of the pipeline project. Delaware County Council also is mulling a possible risk assessment study of its own.

“The fact that the commonwealth got more than $12 million in fines from Sunoco, but refuses to donate a dime for the risk assessment is disappointing, infuriating, and unacceptable,” Dinniman said. “The fact is the current administration should have required an independent risk assessment from the beginning, but they failed to do so and now the citizens and local municipalities picking up the slack.

“Citizens have a right to know the risk involved with these pipelines. That’s all we ask.”

Sam Bernhardt, senior Pennsylvania organizer of the Food & Water Watch, helped organize a campaign to knock on 10,000 doors in the township prior to the November election. Two new board members of the three-member board were elected and a third was appointed.

“This is the type of leadership Uwchlan residents voted for when they elected Mayme Baumann and Bill Miller this past fall with over 60 percent of the vote,” Bernhardt said. “The group’s political arm, Food & Water Action, worked with community members, mobilizing voters who were opposed to the pipeline to vote for Baumann and Miller.

“Other municipalities along the pipeline route should look to Uwchlan as an example of what true community stewardship looks like. Gov. Wolf has refused to protect these communities, so they are stepping up to protect themselves.”

Newly appointed Supervisor Kim Doan recently filled out the three-member board and also affirmed the motion for Township Solicitor Mark Freed to take action on behalf of the township.

Jeff Shields, Sunoco Pipeline communications manager, said the company does not have any comment on any prospective legal action.

Mariner East 2 will carry hundreds of thousands of barrels of Marcellus Shale products such as ethane, butane and propane across the full width of Pennsylvania, to a storage facility at the former Sunoco refinery in Marcus Hook. Much of the liquid gas will then be shipped to markets overseas.
User avatar
By sandbagger2
#493450
Thursday, February 15, 2018
Another win for pipeline foes - & 2-party rule


Rack another victory for the foes of the Mariner East 2 pipeline project.
And, in a way, a huge step for two-party rule here in Delaware County.

Yesterday, Delaware County Council voted 3-1 to seek bids for a risk assessment study on the massive, $2.5 billion project of Sunoco Pipeline. When it's up and running, the company plans to deliver as many as 250,000 barrels a day of ethane, butane, and propane liquid gases across the entire width of Pennsylvania, from the Marcellus Shale regions, to a distribution center at the site of Sunoco's former refinery in Marcus Hook.
Opponents don't think this is an especially good idea, citing the potential for dangers, including a route that takes the pipeline through densely populated neighborhoods, literally right past schools and senior centers.
Unions, lots of elected officials, the chamber of commerce all support the potential economic benefits of the pipeline, including hundreds of good-paying, family-sustaining jobs. Sunoco insists the pipeline is being constructed - and will be operated - to the highest standards in the industry.

But the state Department of Environmental Protection shut down all construction on the project for more than a month after finding persistent, "egregious" problems during construction, as well as one incident where the company was found to be using a controversial technique known as Horizontal Directional Drilling in an area where it was not permitted to do so.

Last week it was announced Sunoco Pipeline would pay a $12 million fine; in return the state lifted the ban on construction. Opponents clearly are not satisfied.

Earlier this week officials out in Uwchlan Township in Chester County announced they would enforce their local zoning laws in an attempt to halt construction.

The 350-mile pipeline will traverse about 25 miles across the heart of the center Chester County, as well as another 11 miles across western Delaware County as it snakes its way toward Marcus Hook. The path is basically contiguous to Mariner East 1, Sunoco's old original oil pipeline, which has been retrofitted and is already delivering much of the same materials across the region.

Here in Delaware County, critics have been showing up at County Council meetings for the last month, pushing officials to do a risk assessment study.

Council had given an initial OK several weeks ago, before getting bogged down in the details of the study, as well as a little politics.

Remember, this is a new era of government at the Media Courthouse. After their victories at the polls in November, two Democrats now sit on the county's ruling body, something that has not happened since the mid-'70's.

Amazing what a little bipartisan rule will do.

Wednesday the citizens who oppose the pipeline got their wish.

Republican Council Vice Chairman Colleen Morrone joined Democrats Brian Zidek and Kevin Madden in approving the move to seek bids for the study. Republican Michael Culp voted against. Council Chairman John McBlain abstained, noting he did not want there to be any appearance of a conflict since his law firm has done some work for Sunoco Pipeline, although McBlain himself has not.

Now Council very well may have signed off on the risk assessment study without those two Democrats sitting at the table. But I kind of doubt it.

Then again, Morrone lives in Middletown, the heart of much of the unrest centering on the pipeline. A grassroots organization, Middletown Coalition for Community Safety, has been holding rallies and protesting the pipeline for more than a year.

I still think the pipeline is going to happen. It's too far along and there is too much money at stake to stop this thing now.
But I've been wrong before. And make no mistake, those who oppose it are not going to go away.

Having said that, I think the risk assessment study is a good thing.
And the process used by Delaware County Council to approve it is even better.
Two-party rule.
What a concept.
posted by Heron's Nest at 7:29 AM
User avatar
By sandbagger2
#493455
Delco council to seek bids for pipeline risk-assessment study
By Kathleen E. Carey, Delaware County Daily Times
POSTED: 02/14/18, 9:48 PM EST | UPDATED: 59 SECS AGO 2 COMMENTS


MEDIA >> Delaware County Council voted Wednesday to move forward with a hazard assessment of the Mariner East 2 pipeline, after a few weeks of grappling with how such an evaluation would be completed.

Council members Kevin Madden, Colleen Morrone and Brian Zidek voted in favor of the study. Council Chairman John McBlain abstained to prevent any appearance of conflict as his law firm, Swartz Campbell, has done work for Sunoco although McBlain has not. Councilman Michael Culp opposed the measure, saying he wanted to see if Sunoco would share what data it had related to the pipeline.

“I respect my colleagues’ decision but I did not want to sacrifice the accuracy of the risk assessment for expediency’s sake,” Culp said after the meeting.

In making a motion for the study, Morrone said, “Safety is very important to me as a council member and economic development and economic impact is very important to me and I think that they both need to co-exist in our community and to be able to both thrive in our community. I think this recommendation is a balance of all of those things.”

It was an unusual show of bipartisanship as Morrone, the Republican council vice chairman, joined her newly seated Democratic colleagues, Madden and Zidel. The pipeline is a hot issue in her hometown of Middletown.

Council initiated the idea of a pipeline study Jan. 23 after several members of the public asked them to conduct one. For weeks after, however, council grappled with what the scope of the study would be and who would do the evaluation.

On Wednesday, there was enough agreement to begin to move forward with performing such a study with a request for proposal for the analysis to be issued March 14 and responses from vendors to be received no later than April 16.

What council approved is a pipeline hazardous analysis for “awareness, emergency preparedness and response to address the concerns and educate the general public along the pipeline routes in Delaware County with particular emphasis on the Mariner East 2 pipeline currently under construction.”

The motion directed the county’s Emergency Services Department to commission the analysis with the understanding that any director or officer who had done any work for Sunoco or its affiliates in the last five years recuse themselves so the report would be impartial and credible.

It also directed that the vendor to perform the study be independent of Sunoco or any county or state agency and that the analysis would identify with specificity the magnitude and probability of any hazards associated with the pipeline routes in Delaware County.

It also stated that the study should examine how first responders, and schools, should address any hazards identified in the study, as well as a way to mitigate the risks and that the study be made public upon its completion.


Madden said the motion was a good first step.

“The point here is to take what is already an uncertain situation and put some degree of certainty around it,” he said.

Zidek agreed, adding that the intent is “an examination of the likelihood that a release of the (natural gas liquids that) might occur from the Mariner East project and then a examination of the consequences from such a release.”

He added, “I, and I don’t think anybody sitting up here on council, is pro- or anti-pipeline. What I am in favor of is getting a scientific, independent analysis that can better inform all of our citizens of the risks that might be present with regard to the Mariner East pipeline.”

Jeff Shields, communications manager for Sunoco Pipeline/Energy Transfer Partners, said the company has been subject to mandated safety regulations at all levels throughout the construction.

He issued a statement after the meeting. It read, in part:

“It is important to note that safety and risk reduction are built into the strict federal regulations that pipeline operators have to follow, and we have performed the required safety analyses for our systems and shared information with our regulators and emergency services officials.

“In populated areas, pipeline operators are required to add additional safety measures to the design of the pipelines, including enhanced leak damage prevention programs, enhanced leak detection systems, more frequent internal and external inspections, improved corrosion control programs, additional emergency preparedness efforts and installation of automatic valves.

“We did all of this for Mariner East 2, and didn’t stop there. Our pipe is thicker and buried deeper than required, and during construction we inspect by X-ray 100 percent of our end-to-end welds, when regulations require 10 percent. Those enhancements have already been endorsed by an independent third party for West Goshen Township, who concluded that ‘Sunoco has incorporated additional processes in excess of minimum federal pipeline safety regulations that should assure the safety of this proposal across the township.’”

During the public comment section of the council meeting, people on both sides of the issue shared their perspectives.

Tony Lusi, a member of the Operating Engineers Local 542 and lifelong county resident, spoke of what the Mariner East jobs means to his members.

“These are stable, family-supporting jobs for our workers,” he said. “The men and the women who are working on these pipelines live here too so we’re concerned about safety as much as our neighbors.”

Brittany Fleming of Prospect Park said she’s working on the Mariner East project.

“I have worked as an operator out on the pipeline and I can say that everything that I’ve done out there has been safe and there hasn’t been any times that I’ve been put into an unsafe position, she said.

Others presented another view, such as Denise McCarthy of Glen Mills who underscored the fear she faces.

“My husband and I worked our whole lives to buy our dream home and it’s 100 feet from the pipeline itself,” she said. “I toss and turn at night now and construction is not even finished.”

George Alexander of Media congratulated council for moving ahead with the study and urged them to solicit public input throughout the process.

“I had given up hope that it would happen,” he said. “I’m glad it’s happening now. It’s a good sign for our democracy, I think.”
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