Mariner 2 Pipeline - Education & Safety for Uwchlan Township
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STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:
The reality of the Mariner 2 Pipeline is upon us. The community is now beginning to see and understand the degree to which our lives will be disrupted, whether we live on the actual pipeline or not. As we explore options, it is apparent that our current Uwchlan Township Bylaws are inadequate to protect our basic rights. The purpose of this petition is to begin to redefine our position as citizens and residents of Uwchlan Township. We are calling for three things: 1) A clearly defined Uwchlan Township Residents’ Bill of Rights to be adopted by The Uwchlan Township Supervisors; 2) A Viable Safety Plan for Schools, Businesses, and Residents inside the Probable Fatality Zone; and 3) Documentation for each Uwchlan Township resident identifying their specific proximity to the Pipeline and associated Probable Fatality Zone. By signing this petition, you are taking the first step in redefining your rights.
The Mariner 2 Pipeline has been thrust onto our community without full disclosure of the magnitude of the disruption and underlying risks. Most of Sunoco’s efforts have been focused on garnering easements from The Township and specific residents directly on the route of the pipeline. Precious little has been done to involve the Uwchlan Township community at large. Of note, Mariner 2 will be transporting liquefied gases – Ethane, Butane, and Propane. This differentiates it significantly from traditional petroleum–based pipelines. This is highly combustible, and as a gas, it is heavier than air. It will not dissipate into the atmosphere. While risks associated with pipeline breaches may be catastrophic, neither Sunoco nor The State of Pennsylvania has provided a detailed risk analysis or a safety plan. Note that in 2016, there were 305 significant incidents reported by the PHSMA, resulting in approximately 100 combined injuries and fatalities. Mariner East has spilled 3 times in the past year. Based on historical data, safety engineers have estimated an expected failure rate of 7 per year over the 350 miles of pipeline. The Probable Fatality Zone for this combination of liquefied gases is estimated as conservatively as 1800 feet, but may actually span several square miles. Potential loss in the densely populated areas represents an unacceptable level of risk to the residents of Uwchlan. Amazingly, approval has been granted to allow Sunoco to install this pipeline within the Probable Fatality Zone of several of our schools, and elderly care communities, where requisite evacuation procedures are far more complex. Other townships in the area have begun to develop their own safety plans as a first step in addressing the issues. We cannot undo what was not done in the past. We can try to regain control of our community.
In order to ensure the public health, safety and welfare of the people of Uwchlan Township, we respectfully request that the following actions be taken on our behalf:
1. A Uwchlan Township Residents’ Bill of Rights. This will include, but not be limited to: 1) comprehensive and enforceable noise ordinances, including time & date ranges, as well as decibel levels; 2) comprehensive and enforceable lighting ordinances, including time and date ranges as well as lumen levels; 3) property liability, including some enforceable provisions to reimburse property damage that are the result of drilling and the associated vibration (this needs to include damages to outdoor structures such as swimming pools, retaining walls, fences, etc., that might incur damage due to excessive ground disruption; 4) remediation for traffic disruption; 5) current on-line scheduling information.
A. The Board will immediately contact Sunoco demanding a meeting. During this meeting, Residents will be provided with the timeline and details of construction plans and will be presented with expectations for what the process will entail. This includes, but is not limited to, any and all, quality of life issues that the Supervisors are sworn to protect via code and zoning ordinances.
B. Residents require that the Board of Supervisors keep a log of, any and all infractions and disturbances of public welfare and safety. We also require public meetings for all special permits regarding the pipeline that will be issued, including, but not limited to working beyond scope of ordinances, and pipe bridges.
C. Uwchlan Township residents demand a specific process be put in place to help remediate any work or construction that might go on that is not within the scope of our reasonable expectations for the process set out in original meeting. For Instance, if the township has instructed Sunoco that work must cease by sunset, but it's 2:00am on a Thursday, there should be a clear and publicly accessible process for who the residents are supposed to call to get relief, and how exactly the township will prevent a recurrence.
2) A Viable Safety Plan. This plan must include, but is not limited to, a notification system for residents to start self-evacuating.
A. Uwchlan Township residents need combustible gas detectors along the route, coupled directly to intrinsically safe air raid siren type devices with visual indicators for hearing impaired that also broadcast wind direction in real time for foot evacuation.
B. Uwchlan Township residents require reasonably located triage centers where residents can expect medical assistance as needed.
C. Uwchlan Township residents expect Sunoco to relocate the primary location of the first responders, including the current Fire Department, to a location outside of the Probable Fatality Zone.
D. Sunoco should provide clear and consistent safety instruction and state-of-the-art equipment for first responders, to ensure that all are trained in the unique dangers associated with this combination of liquefied gases, as approved by the Pipeline Safety Coalition.
E. Schools, elderly care facilities, and private businesses within the Probable Fatality Zone need to be prepared and trained for worst case scenario evacuations and safety precautions.
F. Sunoco must provide for proper training, and equip nearby hospitals to address worst case scenarios. Uwchlan Township will immediately start facilitating these conversations and preparing all vested entities to ensure that our residents are safe in their homes, places of business, recreation spaces and public institutions.
3) Specific Distance from The Pipeline. Every resident, business, and public institution will be provided with their actual distance from the pipeline, a complete outline of risks, symptoms of exposure, and copy of their personalized safety plans.
We request that Uwchlan Township Supervisors advocate on our behalf with state, federal government, and all federal regulatory bodies to accomplish above goals. In addition, Uwchlan Township Supervisors will begin to create more resident-favorable pipeline ordinances moving forward, with sufficient notification for public hearings during draft phases and adoption. We also request that Uwchlan Township Supervisors work with other townships within Chester County to develop long term consistent pipeline zoning that protects the rights of all of our residents.
We are not alone. Other Townships in The State of Pennsylvania are fighting for these and similar rights. Other states in the union have successfully fended off similar efforts. But it is late in the game. Our ability to regain control of our own neighborhood rests solely on the collective will of our residents. Your signature is the first step.
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