For Immediate Release
A bipartisan group of fourteen Chester and Delaware County legislators sent a letter to Governor Tom Wolf requesting a moratorium on operations of the Mariner East pipeline system, citing Energy Transfer’s refusal to supply relevant emergency response information to local authorities. The lawmakers argue that this failure is a potential criminal offense.
The March 11 letter was orchestrated by Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, who was elected this past fall on a platform of protecting her Chester County community from Mariner East. The letter points out that Sunoco Logistics/Energy Transfer has refused to supply emergency response plans for Mariner East 2, citing Act 156 (the Public Utility Confidential Security Information Disclosure Protection Act). But the lawmakers note that nine other pipeline operators have supplied emergency response information to the counties and affected school districts.
This failure to disclose highlights a fundamental flaw in Act 156, in that it allows utilities to make decisions about what information to conceal from local first responders.
The lawmakers argue that Energy Transfer and Sunoco are “risking a catastrophe” by failing to disclose the relevant emergency response information, “which under Title 18 - Chapter 13 is a criminal offense.” The letter implores Governor Wolf to institute a moratorium on operation of the Mariner East system until mandated safety protocols are in place.
“Just last month, Governor Wolf stated that Sunoco and Energy Transfer have failed to respect our laws and our communities. It’s time for him to act like he means that and halt this dangerous project for good,” said Food & Water Watch organizer Sam Rubin. “Thankfully we have legislators championing the safety of residents and communities. We encourage these lawmakers to pursue moratorium legislation since Wolf has failed to act.”
Signing the letter to Wolf were Senators Andy Dinniman, Tim Kearney, and Katie Muth, along with Representatives Danielle Frielle Otten, Steve Barrar, Carolyn Comitta, Kristine Howard, John Lawrence, Chris Quinn, Melissa Shusterman, Christina Sappey, Leanne Krueger, Tim Hennessey and Dan Williams.