Pipeline Safety in Middletown Township and Across Pennsylvania: Part 1

Pipelines are built with the most advanced safety technologies by skilled union workers who pride themselves on their work. But, as with any major infrastructure project, there will always be some debate about what construction looks like. Pipelines are no exception. A recent example of this was the battle in Middletown Township with the Mariner East 2 pipeline.

The Mariner East 2 pipeline was granted a necessary ordinance for easements on seven parcels of public land in Middletown Township last week. Following the council’s approval, labor leaders from throughout the area spoke up in support of the project and made efforts to explain to the public how seriously they take their jobs and the safety of their communities.

An article in the Daily Local News highlighted how labor leaders believe no one scrutinizes their work more than they do. “When I weld, I think of families in this area, I think that this weld is going to impact the families that are here,” said Paul Mangiamele, the director of industrial relationships for Fluor Constructors. Additionally, Bill Adams, president of the Local 654 branch of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, commented that “Sunoco Logistics Mariner East 2 will be built with state of the art technology to ensure the highest regard for safety of the communities it runs through.”

To further explain the importance of safety, Ed Human, director of operations for Sunoco Logistics in Marcus Hook, detailed the extensive work that was completed on Mariner East 1. The work he contributed to the pipeline included the process of “pigging,” which uses a pipeline extension gauge (PIG) to test the pressure-limit of the pipeline and help free sediment buildup. It is used as the safety check for cracks and anomalies in the line, where if found workers dig up those sections and replace them. “We try to test for 125 percent of the maximum pressure in the operation test, so we know it can withstand normal operating pressure,” Human said.