Yesterday, the Delaware County Council voted 3-2 to table the proposed risk assessment of the Mariner East 2 Pipeline conducted by the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), The Delco Times reports. Council members Brian Zidek, Colleen Morrone, and Kevin Madden voted to table the study, with Zidek stating the he did not think that the LEPC had the authority or structure to conduct a quantitative risk assessment. The two council members who voted to move forward with the study, Chairman John McBlain and Councilman Michael Culp, did not express opposition to the Mariner East projects.
The Delco Times did, however, incorrectly reported that the Council voted last week to conduct the risk assessment. Yesterday was the first vote on whether to proceed with the assessment, whereas last week the council established a committee to outline the parameters for a potential study.
While the vote to table the assessment is a step in the right direction, entertaining it as a possibility is already indulging environmental activists in their flight of fancy. Mariner East 2 has been under unprecedented review every step from conception to today. Pipelines across the country undergo rigorous examinations and tests to ensure that they operate correctly and safely, posing minimal risk to the land around them.
Conducting a risk assessment will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and that money will come from the pockets of taxpayers. Delaware County’s taxpayers should not have to pay for a duplicative, unnecessary study like what was proposed. The Mariner East projects are going to bring $9.1 billion to Pennsylvania, creating nearly 60,000 jobs during the construction process. We should be working to benefit all Pennsylvanians, not spend their money on redundancies like a risk assessment.