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PA Emergency Chief Says He Couldn’t Evacuate Everyone In Pipeline Leak

“At PUC hearing, official acknowledges Sunoco's outreach but expresses safety concerns”.

“Delaware County’s emergency operations director said Tuesday that authorities would not be able to quickly evacuate everyone within half a mile of a major leak from any of the Mariner East pipelines, but acknowledged that their builder, Sunoco, has attempted to educate the public about how to detect any leak and how to react to it.

Timothy Boyce was giving evidence at the final hearings of a case brought to the Public Utility Commission by seven residents of Delaware and Chester counties who want the PUC to rule on whether Sunoco’s plans to protect the public from any rupture in the pipelines are adequate. The so-called Safety Seven are urging the regulator, if it finds that Sunoco’s plans are lacking, to shut down the lines until safety is improved.

Critics say the safety of people who live near the 350-mile cross-state route is at risk because of the highly explosive nature of the natural gas liquids carried by the pipelines, especially in Philadelphia’s densely populated western suburbs.”

Jon Hurdle reports for NPR's StateImpact Pennsylvania September 29, 2020.