HARRISBURG (November 22, 2019) – The citizens who continue to stand up against the public and environmental safety threats posed by the problematic Mariner East pipeline project are heroes in the long-running battle, state Senator Andy Dinniman said today.
“The citizens who have formed coalitions, educated themselves on the process, and continue to actively engage in monitoring pipeline construction and defending their communities are an asset to Chester County and an inspiration to anyone looking to make a difference,” Dinniman, who serves on the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, said. “From day one, they have been at the forefront of this issue, from reporting problems that could have had catastrophic results to challenging Sunoco/ET in court.”
“As we approach Thanksgiving, I remain grateful for my friends and neighbors who have stepped forward and invested their time, energy and resources to stand up for what they believe in and for what they love – our home,” he added.
Dinniman’s comments came following the continuation of lay testimony in the “Safety Seven” case against Mariner East before the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. They are asking PUC Administrative Law Judge Elizabeth Barnes to shut down the hazardous natural gas liquids pipeline project on the grounds that it is a danger to public safety.
On Wednesday, Chester County residents Laura Obenski, Melissa DiBernadino, and Rebeca Britton presented testimony. During the course of the full-day hearing, they urged Barnes to halt construction and operation of Mariner East until such time that damage caused has been remediated, a comprehensive emergency management procedure is developed, an early warning detection system is implemented, and a realistic evacuation plan is in place.
The Chester County citizens presented testimony in a pro se (for oneself) capacity and were joined by interveners Tom Casey and Virginia Kerslake. The hearing marked a continuation of Lay testimony in the case heard over two days at the Chester County Courthouse last month. It will continue in July 2020 with expert witnesses.
All of the complaints are included in the consolidated PUC Docket, Number P-2018-3006117
Safety Seven petitioners include Meghan Flynn, Rosemary Fuller, Michael Walsh, Nancy Harkins, Gerald McMullen, Caroline Hughes, and Melissa Haines. The PUC consolidated the Safety Seven case with pro se complaints filed by Obenski, DiBernadino, and Britton.