The recent news cycles around the Mariner East 1 and 2 projects have lost sight of important benefits being delivered by the pipeline project stretching from Ohio to Pennsylvania. A recent Pivot Today article reminds all of the vital benefits energy infrastructure – specifically natural gas pipelines – affords businesses, union workers, households, and states.
Now 99% complete the Mariner East 2 pipeline system brought together American workers, domestic products and American innovation to create a pipeline that will unlock Pennsylvania’s energy potential. The Marcellus Shale formation is thought to be one of the largest natural gas and oil reserves in North America. Mariner East 2 is a key component in transporting that gas across the state and to export terminals on the coast.
The other component of successful pipeline infrastructure is its safety. Mark Hostutler of Pivot Today took the time to highlight many of the steps Energy Transfer has taken to ensure the Mariner East pipeline system is safe, including:
- It starts in the pipe mill, where inspectors oversee the manufacturing of the pipe to strict standards. The pipe is inspected again when it arrives on the construction site.
- Before and after the pipeline is buried, and ongoing once they are in operation, Energy Transfer Partners puts its pipelines through rigorous testing above and beyond what is required by federal safety regulations. Then, it monitors them 24/7, 365 days a year, from its central monitoring facility.
- The company employs heavier pipe-wall thickness than required by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The higher quality of pipe reduces the risk of damage from sources such as excavating equipment or ground movement.
- Energy Transfer Partners buries the pipeline deeper underground than required in most cases — at least four feet and up to 200.
- The company inspects 100 percent of the pipeline’s mainline girth welds by X-ray, rather than the 10 percent required.
- Energy Transfer Partners patrols its Mariner East pipelines more frequently, by ground and air, than required.
- The company teams with local emergency responders along the route to provide information and training on emergency pipeline response. Since 2014, it has trained more than 2,000 emergency responders and public officials.
- State and federal regulators spent more than 100 inspection days during 2017 on the Mariner East project, more inspection days than on any other pipeline in Pennsylvania.
Mariner East 2’s extensive safety procedures and protocols will ensure communities are safe for decades to come as Pennsylvania realizes its energy potential.