PEIA was happy to cohost an event last Thursday in Lebanon, Pennsylvania with the Keystone Energy Forum and Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce. Kevin O’Connor, a former firefighter and leader in the International Association of Fire Fighters was on-hand along with others to discuss the positive impact that the energy industry is having on Pennsylvania and the importance for increased pipeline infrastructure development to ensure the safe transport of those resources.
While some in Pennsylvania employ fear tactics to raise safety concerns about pipelines, experts have been resolute that pipelines are the safest means to transport these products to end consumers. And if there is ever an issue, O’Connor acknowledged the rigorous training that first fighters receive to respond. In fact, over 2,300 first responders have been trained in Pennsylvania alone, through Sunoco Pipeline’s Mariner Emergency Response Outreach (MERO) training program in order to be prepared if ever something should happen.
Even though opponents of pipeline infrastructure continue to reach for any evidence they can manufacture that helps instill fear into local citizens about how safe pipelines are, it is important to know that first responders are trained to respond, if necessary. The important thing that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania must do is ensure that we take measures to mitigate risks by relying on proven transportation methods that ensure safety, which requires increased pipeline infrastructure development.