Pipeline Expert Encourages Weariness When Interpreting QRA Findings

Bill Godsey, former geologist for the Texas Railroad Commission, recently stepped forward in a Delco Times op – ed to offer perspective on the findings of the citizens’ risk assessment study presented on August 28th. Mr. Godsey prioritizes that “results are most accurate taken in sum rather than individually” and that “policymakers should be cautious to accept any singular study as gospel.”

As the presentation unfolded it became clear that the citizens’ risk assessment was not without flaw. What must first be considered is the significant room for error that lies in the study.

As Godsey says:

“A report prepared by Accufacts Inc – an expert voice that has been involved in helping shape how risk assessments are conducted – finds that one consultant hired to perform a QRA last year showed a ‘technical misunderstanding’ of Mariner East’s safety systems and a ‘lack of technical experience on pipeline release, or bias in pipeline failure approach.’”

The firm Mr. Godsey mentions as showing a “technical misunderstanding” was Quest Consultants, hired to perform and present Tuesday’s quantitative risk assessment study.

Despite public disagreement over the Mariner East 2 project Mr. Godsey presents important questions, wondering if there “…were consultants picked based on attitudes that align with local politicians? Do they lack the expertise to conduct a thoroughly exhaustive assessment? That’s conceivable—and potentially just as detrimental to local communities.”

Pipeline opposition groups have long suffered from tunnel vision for stopping Mariner East 2. The latest risk assessment study only shows how willing pipeline opponents are to accept ideology before fact.