Pipe­line con­cerns for East Goshen res­i­dents

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - NEWS -

To The Edi­tor: On Tues­day, Oc­to­ber 4, I at­tended a meet­ing of the East Goshen Board of Su­per­vi­sors. I at­tended this meet­ing be­cause the agenda in­di­cated that a pipe­line Procla­ma­tion of Con­cern would be con­sid­ered. Such res­o­lu­tions have been re­cently adopted in Thorn­bury and Mid­dle­town Town­ships in Delaware County, ex­press­ing “great con­cern” about pub­lic safety risks from Sunoco’s pro­posed haz­ardous, highly volatile liq­uids pipe­line project.

Sunoco pro­poses to trans­port through the heart of East Goshen mas­sive quan­ti­ties of ma­te­ri­als which have a deadly com­bi­na­tion of qual­i­ties. If they es­cape from the pipe­line, they be­come col­or­less, odor­less gas, which is toxic, heav­ier than air, and ex­tremely flammable or ex­plo­sive. And Sunoco has a long his­tory of haz­ardous liq­uids leaks: 274 since 2006 alone, or about two per month on av­er­age. After a 2015 Sunoco leak in Edg­mont, a gaso­line ad­di­tive was de­tected in nearby wells. In May 2016, Sunoco leaked a “toxic, highly volatile liq­uid” in As­ton, not far from the nearby high school. Worst of all is the in­dus­try’s generic plan in case of a leak of flammable ma­te­ri­als you may not be able to de­tect: evac­u­ate, on foot and up­wind, to a dis­tance of at least one-half mile. Do not ring a door­bell, use a cell phone, or start a ve­hi­cle.

I had hoped to of­fer a brief state­ment to the su­per­vi­sors about the enor­mous con­se­quences of pipe­line fail­ures, which, com­bined with Sunoco’s abysmal record, lead to the risk rec­og­nized by other town­ships. I’d hoped to tell them that Mid­dle­town had as­sessed haz­ardous liq­uids

re­leases as the most se­ri­ous pub­lic safety risk, and that my home­own­ers as­so­ci­a­tion’s in­sur­ance car­rier will can­cel our in­sur­ance if Sunoco’s haz­ardous liq­uids pipe­lines are built near our houses. I’d hoped to ex­press my con­cerns for the safety of my fam­ily and the value of my prop­erty, both jeop­ar­dized by Sunoco’s pro­posed pipe­lines.

Un­for­tu­nately, I was un­able to com­plete my state­ment as I was con­tin­u­ally in­ter­rupted by the su­per­vi­sors who ap­par­ently wished to spend the time ei­ther cross-ex­am­in­ing me or mak­ing their own pub­lic state­ment. Worse, none of their com­ments seemed to have any­thing to do with the safety con­cerns I was ar­tic­u­lat­ing. Dur­ing the meet­ing, the su­per­vi­sors brought up a Res­o­lu­tion of Con­cern over these se­ri­ous safety is­sues; but then voted it down, unan­i­mously. Based on their ac­tions, the East Goshen su­per­vi­sors are un­will­ing to even ex­press con­cern for the health, safety and wel­fare of the cit­i­zens who elected them.

Eric Fried­man Thorn­bury Township

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