Wolf makes stop in Chester County to hear Mariner East pipeline concerns

Jim Melwert
August 25, 2019 - 4:00 am
Gov. Tom Wolf

Rich Barnes/USA Today Sports

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CHESTER COUNTY, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — Gov. Tom Wolf made a quick stop in Chester County Thursday to talk to some concerned residents about the Mariner East pipelines.

County Commissioner Michelle Kichline said it was a quick visit from the governor, but he did take a few minutes to talk to the commissioners and some other lawmakers.

Kichline said she had a list of concerns about the Mariner East project and she talked to Wolf specifically about a lack of communication with Sunoco and Energy Transfer Partners, the companies behind the pipelines.

“Currently, if there’s an incident, we don’t know about it directly from the industry. We have to send our first responders out to the scene,” she said.

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Because of that lack of communication, Kichline said, first responders have no idea what they’re walking into.

She compared it to the Limerick nuclear plant. Even though it’s right across the county line, they still alert county officials.

“The nuclear industry has a reporting standard where even if it’s a routine call for an ambulance, we hear about it, our emergency services people are alerted so we can notify the community,” she explained.

Residents said they’re disappointed Wolf’s visit was so short, and that he stayed in a supermarket parking lot rather than visiting the actual construction.

Kichline explained safety is at the top of her list, but the commissioners have been pressing lawmakers to address a host of other issues, including zoning.

She pointed out when the pipelines were built back in the 1930s, Chester County was farmland. East Goshen had around 800 residents, now there are about 18,000.