HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — The Mariner East 2 Pipeline controversy moved to Harrisburg on Tuesday. Residents and lawmakers are calling on Gov. Tom Wolf to halt the project and put the safety of the communities around the project first.
State Sen. Andrew Dinniman of Chester County says the state is rubber stamping Sunoco’s plans to the detriment of the region.
“Both the PUC and the DEP, if you look at the records, have accepted the words of the company, and the testimony of the company without challenging it,” he said.
Independent research shows the pipeline, carrying highly flammable gases, is too close to homes, schools, hospitals and senior facilities.
Dinniman says the state has failed in keeping residents safe when it comes to the Mariner East Pipeline. He says the Department of Environmental Protection, the Public Utility Commission and the state are not sharing important information with the public about the project, and if there is an accident?
“The hope is, and the chances that something happens are minimal, but if it does happen, there is no way to escape it,” Dinniman said. “What are you gonna do, run a half-mile? Are you gonna run the 300 feet, people who are in wheelchairs and hospital beds? Kids who are 3, 4 and 5 years old?”
Thousands of petitions were delivered to the governor calling on the pipeline construction to be stopped, and a thorough safety assessment conducted.
Wolf’s office responded in an email.
“The governor takes seriously the concerns expressed by residents affected by this project and has instructed the Department of Environmental Protection to utilize all appropriate tools to enforce the stringent requirements of the permits associated with the pipeline. The governor has been in communication with various legislators and met personally with them to hear their concerns. The administration remains committed to the protection of Pennsylvania’s residents and will hold operators accountable to their obligations.”