MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP, Delaware County – Pipeline opponents in Delaware County falsely contend that constructing new pipeline infrastructure is harmful to both the environment and individual households, but extensive government surveys and independent analyses refute those claims, according to members of the Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance (PEIA).
The Middletown Coalition’s release of its Mariner East 2 report Monday comes more than a month after the state Department of Environmental Protection already approved permits for the project, allowing construction to proceed. DEP’s approval came after an unprecedented regulatory review that took more than two and a half years and included hundreds of hearings, meetings and forums with residents, local officials, and regulators at the state and local levels.
“The coalition focused its report with one goal in mind: to stop the construction of Mariner East 2. This pipeline project has been reviewed over and over again by experts and deemed safe. Any delays now mean loss of jobs for hardworking men and women in Pennsylvania,” said Anthony Gallagher, business manager for Steamfitters Local 420.
The Middletown Coalition’s study matches their public advocacy against the pipeline. Initial reviews of the study and published reports of its contents indicate that assumptions are misleading, scenarios used in assessments are not reflective of actual Mariner East 2 operations and data are flawed.
“Mariner East 2 is using local union labor. That means this project will be built by dependable, highly trained, highly skilled craftsman who have spent decades training, building and maintaining infrastructure. The report doesn’t account for the good work we do,” said Paul Mullen, business manager for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 654.
“We live where we work,” Gallagher emphasized. “Nothing is more important to us than safety, and this project will be built to ensure safe operation without harm to our communities or the environment.”
An independent analysis commissioned by West Goshen Township in southeastern Pennsylvania recently confirmed that Mariner East 2 “has incorporated additional processes in excess of minimal pipeline safety regulations that should assure the safety of this proposal,” adding to reviews about the state-of-the-art technologies and round-the-clock monitoring that will ensure safe construction and long-term operation.
That report was compiled by Accufacts Inc., which has more than 40 years of experience in the energy industry and is run by a certified safety management engineer with a special focus on proper design and operation in areas of unique population density of an environmentally sensitive nature.
Those findings are reinforced by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which identifies pipelines as the safest mode of energy transportation.
Trish McFarland, President of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, reiterated her support of the project, which would bring tremendous benefits to the region and across Pennsylvania.
“Pipeline systems have safely and reliably delivered energy resources to every corner of Pennsylvania and our country for more than a century,” McFarland said. “This project has been shown time and again to meet and exceed safety requirements.”
PEIA is a broad-based coalition of labor, agriculture, manufacturing and other business interests that support private investment in pipeline and other energy infrastructure developments. The alliance has more than 30 members statewide.
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The Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance was launched June 8, 2015 by the Washington County Chamber of Commerce and Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, along with the Laborers International Union of North America and the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 66. Visit www.paallianceforenergy.com for more information, or go to Twitter @PAllies4Energy.
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