Another town is throwing their support behind a redundant and useless risk assessment study of Mariner East pipelines.
Supervisors in West Whiteland Township voted to contribute an additional $2,000 in funding to advance the study set to be conducted by Quest Consultants. The money will be added to a growing GoFundMe campaign of $47,688 for a study likely to be completed by late August or early September.
This is far from the first time the Clean Air Council has unnecessarily squeezed money out of local government. Previously, East Goshen Township was asked, and agreed, to contribute $5,000 to the cause and neighboring Westtown Township agreed to a donation of $2,000 to the near $50,000 fund for a redundant third pipeline study. The Delaware County Council recently announced that they were commissioning a similar study. Each of these studies is being done in addition to assessments of risk already required through the permitting and regulatory process.
It is also questionable what this ill-advised study will produce. Quest Consultants study for the Middletown Coalition was found to be flawed by an industry expert, Richard Kuprewicz. He even backed up his perspective to correctly acknowledge that risk assessments cannot be accurately executed using data that is only publicly available, which is what Quest’s proposal is designed to utilize. Because of this, Quest’s study is likely intended to find a predetermined outcome. Likely an outcome that is consistent with anti-pipeline development individuals and groups such as Sen. Dinniman, the Clean Air Council, Food and Water Watch, and Eric Friedman, all fringe activists opposed to the positive benefits that these projects will provide the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Spending $50,000 for a flawed study is not a good use of the public’s dollars.
Preliminary findings of this study are expected to be released to the community on August 28th and will be followed by “Full-day training for up to 10 individuals from Del-Chesco United and officials of townships who contributed” on August 29th and 30th.
Presenting yet another study to the public will introduce, rather than resolve, confusion amongst community members. Instead of wasting important taxpayer money, community leaders should focus on educating first responders and residents about the pipeline beyond the 10 Del-Chesco United and township supervisor members invited.
The redundancy of a third pipeline study does not promote actual safety measures for residents. Time, money, and energy is saved if pipeline opposition groups acknowledged the safety and regulatory standards Mariner East 2 exceeded in its construction.