Thursday, January 26, 2017

A short-lived victory for Delco pipeline opponents?

Score one for Middletown residents.

They were successful in their push to have an outside agency perform a quantitative risk assessment to gauge the possible risks tied to Sunoco Logistics' plan for the Mariner East 2 pipeline.

Residents have consistently been raising their voices against the plan, airing concerns about safety, maintenance and property values. In particular they are less than enamored about the path of the pipeline, which would take it just several hundred feet from Glenwood Elementary School on Pennell Road.

The company stands by its record, and believes residents' concerns are already covered by federal regulations.

Nonetheless, residents pushed their township council for an outside, independent look, and they got their wish, this despite a last-second pitch from the new director of Delaware County Emergency Services, who urged them to join in the county efforts to study the risk. Middletown will do that, but will also go ahead with the outside study, which will cost them $44,000. It probably galls Sunoco just a bit that the township plans to pay for the study from the revenue they received from giving them rights-of-way through several township properties for the pipeline.

On our editorial page today, we back the residents in their push for this outside study, while we continue to note the obvious economic upside of this project.

But residents probably should not celebrate too much.

Just in case they missed it, the guy who just moved into the White House is making it pretty clear that he a pipeline proponent. President Donald Trump this week signed executive orders breathing new life into both the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, both of which had been sidetracked by the Obama Administration.

Trump said he will now renegotiate deals for both pipelines.

The guess here is that while Sunoco will continue to be forced to jump through various hoops, they eventually will get what they want, and Mariner East 2 will become a reality.


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