HARRISBURG, PA-- Families impacted by construction of the dangerous Mariner East 2 gas liquids pipeline were joined by three state senators at press conference in Harrisburg today, where they called on Governor Wolf to halt the project.
Senator Dinniman and spokespeople for the group, DelChesco United for Pipeline Safety, pointed to Emergency Preparedness provisions in the State Code to demand that the pipeline be halted. Governor Wolf has yet to respond to this demand.
At the morning conference in the state capitol, State Senators Dinniman, John Rafferty, and Daylin Leach voiced their concern over the construction of Sunoco’s gas liquids project, and stood with community leaders urging Governor Wolf to stop the pipeline’s construction. Mariner East 2 has been the source of intense local opposition in communities around the state. Construction has already resulted in over 100 spills.
“Governor Wolf, you are not in compliance with Pennsylvania's Health and Safety Statute and we demand that you halt the construction and operation of Sunoco's Mariner East Pipeline. We demand that you choose our children's safety, our communities safety, the safety of all Pennsylvanians over corporate profit,” said Melissa Dibernadino, a mother of five, resident of East Goshen Township, and leader of DelChesco United, who spoke at the press conference.
“The primary purpose of Sunoco’s proposed Mariner East system is not to provide fuel or energy or jobs for Pennsylvanians or Americans. Rather, it is to transport byproducts of fracked gas production to Sunoco’s export terminal on the Delaware River for shipment overseas,” said Eric Friedman, a Delaware County landowner and the president of the Andover Homeowners’ Association. “I am here to ask for, to beg for, to demand from Governor Wolf, an assessment of the risk this project poses to our children, and to insist that, before the project proceeds one inch further, that this risk is mitigated.”
After the rally, residents--including families with young children--walked to Wolf’s office to deliver a petition with over 6,000 signatures, along with handwritten postcards and letters from impacted residents.
Senator Dinniman also supported a suite of legislation that would close many loopholes that Sunoco has exploited in the Mariner East project. He called on Governor Wolf to halt the project several times during the press conference.
“The one person who can take immediate action to keep our communities safe is Governor Tom Wolf, and there is still time for him to do the right thing,” said Sam Rubin, Food & Water Watch organizer. “For the sake of the safety of the communities threatened by the Mariner East 2, Governor Wolf must halt this pipeline.”
The Mariner East 2 is a 350-mile pipeline that would carry volatile gas liquids across the state of Pennsylvania, terminating at the Marcus Hook facility south of Philadelphia. Given the proximity of houses and schools to the pipeline route, and the safety record of Sunoco, the project poses a serious and imminent safety risk to communities across the state.