Kevin O’Connor, retired Baltimore County fire fighter and former lead for the Governmental Affairs and Public Policy Division of the International Association of Fire Fighters, was featured in a recent Marcellus Drilling News article reminding the public of the many thousands of man hours that have gone in to ensuring that Mariner East 2 is above and beyond safety requirements.
Over 2, 000 emergency responders have been trained to support the Mariner East pipeline areas though opponents conveniently seem to forget its magnitude and quality; O’Connor clarifies, writing:
“Sunoco has teamed up with local emergency responders along ME2’s route to provide information and training on emergency pipeline response. Mariner Emergency Responder Outreach (MERO) training is offered to responders in each community where their pipelines operate. Sunoco Pipeline even enlisted Greg Noll, an expert in emergency response with over 40 years experience in the fire service, to update and deliver MERO trainings across Pennsylvania. Mr. Noll has authored several books, including the textbook on pipeline emergency response, Pipeline Emergencies.”
O’Connor also highlights that Sunoco has surpassed federal safety requirements at “every level” thanks to a robust Integrity Management Program to ensure all portions of the pipeline are safe.
On Sunoco, O’Connor summarizes their efforts well offering:
“Sunoco Logistics is an admirable example of a pipeline company doing everything possible to promote public safety. Pennsylvanians should rest assured in the rare case of a pipeline emergency. Pipelines are the safest way to transport the energy that fuels our day-to-day activities and expanding pipeline infrastructure through projects like the Mariner East pipelines, is necessary to continue to promote safety in local communities.”
Pipeline opponents have heard from regulators, legislators, industry experts, and now a first responder veteran and expert. It is time for fear mongering ideology to be dismissed and facts accepted as Mariner East 2 nears its operation date.