A Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court panel today ruled against an opponent of the Mariner East pipeline network, finding that the information he requested is exempt from public disclosure under the state’s Public Utility Confidential Security Information Disclosure Protection Act, which was enacted in 2006 to protect critical infrastructure and keep communities safe and secure by protecting information that might be used for criminal or terrorist acts.
That same law recently was the subject of a SpotlightPA series, which in part focused on emergency response plans and requirements that pipeline companies must meet to provide information — and laws that restrict some information sharing to protect critical infrastructure. In that series, several first responders and emergency service personnel repeatedly said they feel prepared to deal with any pipeline incident that may occur, despite the law, noting the degree of training they have undergone.
This case by opponents is simply the latest in a string of legal challenges at every level that have been shot down, as well as court decisions that uphold the lawful development of the Mariner East project. If you are writing about the Commonwealth Court decision, please feel free to attribute the following statement to Kurt Knaus, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance:
“The law is the law, and it’s clear that Mariner East has followed the law every step of the way in its development — and this is simply the latest case to prove that. Safety is a top priority for the operator, which has worked to inform communities and train emergency responders, as well as the workers who are building this pipeline in the neighborhoods where the live and work. This lawsuit by the opponents was nothing more than peddling fear to try to shut down this pipeline, rather than engaging in facts about its lawful, safe development and operation.”
For more than five years, the Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance has advocated for the safe, responsible development of critical infrastructure. For more information:
Kurt Knaus, Spokesman
Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance
PEIA is a broad-based coalition of labor, agriculture, manufacturing and other business interests statewide that support private investment in pipeline and other energy infrastructure developments.