Pipeline Safety in Middletown Township and Across Pennsylvania: Part 2

Last week, as the Middletown Township Council approved an ordinance for easements on seven parcels of public land for the Mariner East 2 pipeline, local news outlets continued to amplify support for the project.

The Delaware County Daily Times published a guest column from David R Chalson, senior vice president of operations for Sunoco Logistics Twin Oaks Terminal in Aston. His editorial identifies the four key changes Sunoco made to their safety program in 2012. He believes Sunoco, with the help of the Mariner East projects, returned the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex to its position as an economic engine for local communities and a linchpin for our nation’s energy security and energy independence, and has “done so with one overarching goal: 100 percent safety and security along our pipeline systems.”

Mr. Chalson highlights how all of Sunoco Logistics’ pipelines are monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from control centers that exist solely to ensure the pipelines’ safe operation. And, as previously stated, Sunoco has implemented four changes to their safety practices with much success:

  1. Expanding and enhancing Sunoco Logistics’ Integrity Management Plan – an outline for maintaining the pipelines — in pursuit of our goal of zero releases.
  1. Increasing inline testing, pressure testing and external monitoring so that they are confirming pipeline strength and condition beyond what federal regulations require.
  1. Doing flyover and ground-level inspection of the pipeline route twice weekly along the Mariner East pipeline corridor, which is four times the federal requirement.
  1. Ramping up their long tradition of educating first responders about the pipelines in their towns and implementing the Mariner Emergency Response Outreach program, which to date has provided training for more than 1,000 first responders in Pennsylvania.

It’s initiatives like this that ensure pipelines remain the safest way to transport natural gas liquids. Mr. Chalson concludes with stating, “Sunoco Logistics is committed to error-free, spill-free and incident-free operation of its pipeline; we have been working at this through our Pennsylvania communities for most of the last century. Every step we take is in accordance with that philosophy. That commitment, from every one of our employees, will protect the integrity of our pipeline systems and our facilities, such as the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex, which is helping power our regional economy, today and tomorrow.”

Sunoco Logistics and those working with them to build the Mariner East 2 pipeline believe it will be the utmost safest pipeline that will bring positive benefits to Pennsylvania. There is no longer room for scrutiny when the facts are pointing to safety.