Sunoco re­sponds to pipe­line con­cerns

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - OBITUARIES - Staff Re­port

WEST CH­ESTER » In wake of Wed­nes­day’s safety meet­ing, Jeff Shields, Sunoco Pipe­line com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager, re­leased the fol­low­ing state­ment:

We un­der­stand that the safety of the com­mu­nity is our first re­spon­si­bil­ity. We are build­ing a safe pipe­line, un­der the strict fed­eral safety reg­u­la­tions that are en­forced by both the U.S. Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion and the Penn­syl­va­nia Pub­lic Util­ity Com­mis­sion.

Sunoco has in­cor­po­rated ad­di­tional pro­cesses in ex­cess of min­i­mum fed­eral pipe­line safety reg­u­la­tions that should as­sure the safety of this pro­posal across the Town­ship,” ac­cord­ing to a re­port filed by Richard Kuprewicz, pres­i­dent of Ac­cu­facts and an ex­pert hired by West Goshen Town­ship.

While the re­port looks specif­i­cally at West Goshen Town­ship, Ac­cu­facts also ex­am­ined Sunoco Lo­gis­tics’ prac­tices through­out the sys­tem in key ar­eas. Re­gard­ing weld­ing, for in­stance, fed­eral reg­u­la­tions call for at least 10 per­cent of pipe­line girth welds to be x-rayed, “the gold stan­dard” in as­sess­ing the in­tegrity of th­ese welds. Sunoco Lo­gis­tics x-rays 100 per­cent.

Other ar­eas in which Sunoco Lo­gis­tics ex­ceed fed­eral reg­u­la­tions in­clude:

• In­tegrity Test­ing (Sunoco Pipe­line plans for test­ing the Mariner East 2 pipe­line be­fore it is placed in ser­vice)

• Pump sta­tion de­sign

• Pipe­line mon­i­tor­ing

• Re­lease de­tec­tion

• Emer­gency no­ti­fi­ca­tion Re­gard­ing a safety plan, we have required spill re­sponse plans that are ap­proved by and filed with the U.S. Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion’s Pipe­line and Haz­ardous Ma­te­ri­als Safety Ad­min­is­tra­tion. We work closely with County Emer­gency Ser­vices across the state to co­or­di­nate re­sponses at the county and mu­nic­i­pal lev­els.

Be­cause Sunoco Pipe­line does not have the au­thor­ity to evac­u­ate any­one, we con­sult with lo­cal emer­gency re­spon­ders be­fore the pipe­line is op­er­a­tional, and of­fer train­ing ses­sions to them, to help them de­velop their own no­ti­fi­ca­tion and re­sponse plans, in­clud­ing evac­u­a­tion. Those in­di­vid­ual plans tend to take into ac­count all pos­si­ble haz­ards, be­cause plans need to be broad and flex­i­ble enough to be ap­plied to va­ri­ety of sit­u­a­tions. If you speak with your lo­cal first re­spon­ders and emer­gency re­sponse folks, they should ver­ify th­ese facts.

In an emer­gency, our trained in­ci­dent com­mand teams would im­me­di­ately re­spond, con­nect with lo­cal re­spon­ders, and pro­vide them in­for­ma­tion so they can de­cide the best course of ac­tion de­pend­ing on weather con­di­tions, na­ture of the emer­gency, and other vari­ables.

We also know from talk­ing to first re­spon­ders that they re­gard pipe­lines as the safest way to trans­port petroleum prod­ucts (which do in­clude propane, bu­tane and eth­ane).

Nat­u­ral gas liq­uids are not new to Ch­ester County. In ad­di­tion to the Mariner East 1 line, which has been op­er­at­ing with NGLs since the end of 2014, there is an­other com­pany’s propane pipe­line that has been run­ning safely through Ch­ester and Delaware County for decades. That’s in ad­di­tion to a dozen nat­u­ral gas pipe­lines of sim­i­lar size to, or sig­nif­i­cantly larger than, the Mariner East 2 pipe­lines, that have been op­er­at­ing safely through pop­u­lated ar­eas, again, for decades. We have been trans­port­ing NGLs safely for more than 50 years.

We will build a safe pipe­line.

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