Fund Risk Assessment: Mariner East

$60,523 of $65,000 goal

Raised by 359 people in 9 months
Donate to Fund a Citizens' Risk Assessment for Sunoco’s Mariner East Pipeline Project
Del-Chesco United for Pipeline Safety, in coordination with East Goshen Safety and Environmental Advocates, asks for your support in raising funds to procure an independent unbiased assessment of the risk to public safety posed by the Mariner East pipeline project.  This “Citizens' Risk Assessment” is backed by Senator Andy Dinniman, Senator John Rafferty, and a number of bipartisan state and municipal leaders . 

What is the Mariner Pipeline Project
The Mariner East pipeline project consists of a currently operational 8” natural gas liquids pipeline transporting ethane, propane, and butane, and a 350 mile pair of 20” and 16” pipelines currently under construction and planned to carry the same highly volatile materials.  These pipelines do not serve to meet domestic energy needs, despite their controversial “public utility” status.  Rather, these highly volatile materials are being transported through Pennsylvania's wetlands, forests, farmlands, and densely populated "high consequence" communities to be exported for overseas plastics manufacturing .  

Who we are
Del-Chesco United for Pipeline Safety is a nonpartisan, fact-based, grassroots coalition of locally-based safety groups up and down the pipeline route in Delaware and Chester counties.   We are committed to ensuring that residents and public officials understand the risks presented by these highly volatile high pressure natural gas liquids pipelines, and that those risks are properly mitigated to protect vulnerable populations, including our neighborhoods, our families, and our children.  

Why we need to assess the risk.
To date, no government agency at the federal, state, or local level has conducted an independent risk assessment of Mariner East, and Sunoco has refused to make their own internal hazards analysis public.  In 2015 a 20 inch ethane pipeline in Follansbee, West Virginia exploded  just 13 months after installation producing a fireball with thermal impacts up to 2,000 feet.  Throughout the Commonwealth, and particularly in densely populated Southeastern, Pennsylvania the Mariner pipelines have been recklessly sited close to homes, schools, day cares, nursing facilities, community centers, and many other vulnerable sites within 2,000 feet of the pipeline. The currently operational Mariner One has leaked three times within a 12 month period.

We deserve to know the real risks of Sunoco’s export pipelines to our communities.
Over the past year thousands of Pennsylvanians have written, emailed, petitioned, visited, and even met with Governor Wolf,  asking for a risk assessment for the Mariner East project (including currently operational Mariner One).  Our calls to assess the risk have been echoed by a group of legislators and the state and federal level, but our voices have fallen on deaf ears.  An independent, comprehensive, publicly-available risk analysis has not been completed. Our state government has failed to properly protect us.

We are taking our safety into our own hands.
Del-Chesco United for Pipeline Safety and East Goshen Safety and Environmental Advocates, with the support of Senator Andy Dinniman, will ensure that the study will be commissioned from a reputable pipeline consultant firm without conflicts of interest or ties to ETP/ Sunoco.   The results of this study- funded by the People and for the People- will be made public and transparent in every way.   Any funds that exceed those needed to assess the risk to public safety will be used to assess the risk to private property and the environment.
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CHESTER COUNTY and DELAWARE COUNTY, Pennsylvania, October 19, 2018—Today, Del-Chesco United for Pipeline Safety announces the release of the Quantitative Risk Assessment Final Report of Sunoco’s proposed Mariner East hazardous, highly volatile liquids export pipeline project. The Risk Assessment was completed by Quest Consultants of Norman, Oklahoma, under a contract executed in June 2018. Clean Air Council, one of Pennsylvania’s oldest environmental nonprofit organizations, served as fiscal agent for the project. Tim Boyce, Director of the Delaware County Emergency Services Department reviewed Quest’s abilities as part of a Risk Assessment proposal Quest presented to Delaware County Council. Mr. Boyce reported that Quest was “fully qualified” to perform such work.

Funding for the Citizens Risk Assessment was obtained through a historic public-private partnership of impacted Pennsylvania municipalities; nonprofit corporations such as homeowner’s associations; and from an unprecedented, crowd-sourced outpouring of contributions from individuals across Pennsylvania.

Del-Chesco United has also acquired a temporary lease of the CANARY consequences modeling program, a proprietary tool developed by Quest Consultants. CANARY was used to model accidents on Mariner East for the Citizens Risk Assessment, and Del-Chesco United is willing to operate CANARY for any interested municipality, school district, or emergency response agency. Del-Chesco United is currently seeking additional funding in order to purchase a perpetual license for CANARY.
As part of the project, members of the Citizens Risk Assessment project team had an opportunity to interact with both the senior Quest engineer assigned to the project as well as personnel from Chester County’s Department of Emergency Services. The implications that the Del-Chesco team gleaned from these interactions and the Final Report results included the following.

• Risk can be assessed as the product of consequences and probability.

• Predicted consequences of a release of hazardous, highly volatile liquids from the proposed 20-inch diameter “Mariner East 2” pipeline extend up to 2,135 feet. This is a modeled result and not an upper limit.

• Valve sites are points where there is significantly heightened likelihood of release. Due to the equipment present, and the aboveground placement of this equipment, pipeline valve stations represent the highest risk locations. The risk of fatality near valve sites was found to be in excess of the tolerable limit when compared to international criteria.

• “Horizontal directional drill” (HDD) entry and exit points are locations of significantly heightened likelihood of release. In the event of a breach along a deeply buried segment, gas will flow along the path of least resistance, which is likely to be the HDD entry exit points. Gas may also be released through fissures or cracks that may have been created during loss-of-drilling-fluid events (“frac-outs”).

• The presence of two pipelines approximately doubles the probability of an accident over a single pipeline. Three pipelines triples the probability, and so on. A doubling of probability represents a doubling of risk.

• There is a threshold rate of release below which the operator is unable to detect a leak is occurring. This threshold release rate is large enough that it could produce very serious consequences including injuries, death, or property damage.

• Even the smallest leak of highly volatile liquids from a transmission pipeline has potentially deadly consequences.

• Should there be a leak or rupture of a particular segment that IS identified by the operator, it will take many minutes (even under best possible circumstances) to close block valves. Even with block valves closed, highly volatile liquids will continue to vent from the breach until the failed segment is substantially emptied.

• Wooded areas serve to increase the surface area of a gas cloud and act to worsen the consequences of a vapor cloud explosion. In cases modeled using CANARY, the presence of trees increased the blast radius beyond what it would have been without trees.

• Any confinement of a combustible vapor cloud can produce explosive effects. Examples of potential confinement include low-lying area surrounded by higher terrain, densely developed areas, and buildings into which gas may find its way.

• Should county emergency services departments be informed of a leak, they intend to operate their “reverse 911” systems to notify residents via phone of the need to self-evacuate or other instructions. However, the federal pipeline regulator advises against the use of telephones and cell phones, warning “these can ignite airborne gases.”

• The Final Report indicates that, under some circumstances, being inside a building may provide protection from death or injury from fire radiation or explosive effects. However, Sunoco’s one-size-fits all guidance recommends immediate on-foot self-evacuation, in the correct upwind direction. In all cases, Sunoco recommends leaving the building if you are in one. Sunoco has not provided any information about to determine when it may be safer to remain indoors; how to find wind direction; or how to recognize when a “safe location” has been reached. Sunoco also has failed to provide guidance about actions that should be taken by people of limited mobility such as seniors, young children, or those with disabilities, particularly at night or during inclement weather.

Media contact: del.chesco.united@gmail.com or (484) 441-3308

#noME2 #defendwhatyoulove

Click here for the final report: https://bit.ly/2Ct7dU7
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Please join us on Tuesday August 28, 2018 for a public meeting on the preliminary results of the Citizens Risk Assessment, which examines in depth three geographic points of concern: one in Delaware County, one in Chester County, and one that spans the border. The results of the study of these 3 locations are applicable to sites up and down the pipeline route.

Representatives from Quest Consultants INC will present to the public on both the research process and study findings. Presentation to be followed by a question and answer session. Final report will be available to the public in early September.

Tuesday August 28, 2018
7-9 PM
Fugett Middle School
500 Ellis Ln, West Chester, PA 19380

For over 8 months, residents of Chester and Delaware counties have been raising funds and working to procure a Citizens Risk Assessment of the Mariner East pipelines. Over 300 members of the public have contributed nearly $30,000 to this project, along with another nearly $20,000 raised from grants from Sierra Club and Mountain Watershed Association, contributions from several local home owners associations and a number of local townships including East Goshen, Westtown, and West Whiteland.

We are almost to our fundraising goal..... but we're not there yet!! We are still fundraising to purchase the modeling software so that townships and emergency services can analyze other points of concern and other pipelines in our area into the future.

Thank you!!
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The Citizens Risk Assessment is moving forward. We spent two days last week reviewing the proposed pipeline route from Middletown Township, Delaware County to Uwchlan Township, Chester County, with a representative of the risk assessment vendor. We arranged opportunities for the representative to meet and listen to impacted residents, and review a number of sites as part of the process of identifying the areas that will be studied in detail. The vendor also met with Senator Andy Dinniman, Rep. Carolyn Comitta, and elected officials from a number of Delco and Chesco municipalities. We anticipate that initial results will be available in about four weeks, at which time we will schedule a public meeting to share the draft risk assessment report. Area residents will be provided an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback, which will be incorporated into a final report as appropriate. We look forward to sharing the results of this work by the community for the community. Thank you for your continued support of this historic undertaking.
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Del-Chesco United for Pipeline Safety and East Goshen Safety and Environmental Advocates, with the support of Senator Andy Dinniman, and in partnership with other supporting organizations including Protect Penn Delco, Middletown Coalition for Community Safety, Edgmont Community Safety Coalition, Goshen United for Public Safety, West Whiteland Residents for Pipeline Safety, Mountain Watershed Association, Meadowbrook Manor Homeowners Association, Sierra Club of Chester County, Food & Water Watch, and others are pleased to announce that we are moving forward with the Citizens Risk Assessment.

As of Tuesday, June 26, 2018, we have engaged the services of a qualified vendor to perform a Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA). The QRA will examine both consequences and probability in order to assess the risks to public safety associated with Sunoco's proposed hazardous, highly volatile liquids export project marketed as Mariner East.

The QRA will be specifically designed to evaluate the public safety risks associated with a release of hazardous, highly volatile liquids, which present hazards that are qualitatively different from methane and "ordinary" hazardous liquids such as gasoline. The results of this analysis will be broadly applicable to other areas along the proposed Mariner East route.

Thank you to all the individuals and organizations that have contributed to date. Your contributions will allow our community to do what no community has ever done before: assess the risks that Sunoco seeks to impose upon our communities with its proposed large diameter, high pressure, highly volatile "natural gas liquids" pipelines.

We are proud to be moving forward with the scope of work as originally defined by the community for the community. This is a historic moment, and we are humbled to stand shoulder to shoulder with all of you in this work.
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