Pipeline concerns for East Goshen residents
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