After months of back and forth over whether another risk assessment should be conducted on Mariner East 2 pipeline, the Delaware County Council came to a deadlock last week with regard to a biased proposal.
In January, members decided to move forward with an assessment that would look at all pipelines, collectively, in the county. The council deliberated the idea and in February decided to move forward with a plan.
Oklahoma-based Quest Consultants, which had previously conducted a hazards study for the Middletown Coalition, a group that is openly opposed to all pipelines, on Mariner East 2. Quest was the only firm that responded to the RFP, likely at the direction of the Middletown Coalition.
Two of the council members directly cited the reason for not voting yes was because they did not like the final version of the proposal submitted by Quest Consultants. While the original agreement by the council was for the study to look at pipelines collectively, Quest’s proposal did not follow this direction and instead, zeroed in on Mariner East 2, disregarding the guidelines laid out for the proposal.
The clear bias of this study and the motive behind it is evident in the council’s deadlock. The Mariner East 2 pipeline project underwent a thorough permitting process by federal, state, and local agencies over a five year period. The safety measures used in the construction of Mariner East 2 exceed federal requirements, making it far safer than the thousands of miles of pipeline already running through Pennsylvania. To conduct a duplicative study is a clear waste of taxpayer dollars and we applaud the council’s decision.
Mariner East 2 is nearing completion. Billions of private dollars have been invested in this critical infrastructure project, which will benefit all Pennsylvanians by safely delivering energy resources from southwest Pennsylvania to the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex in Delaware County for consumers in Pennsylvania and beyond. These types of delay tactics by anti-pipeline groups are unfortunate and are not in the best interest of the communities as a whole through Pennsylvania.
Mariner East 2 has received unprecedented regulatory review and was legally permitted. It is now time to finish the job.