- The Context
- State of the State
An independent consultant’s risk assessment said someone would be more likely to die from falling down stairs than in a pipeline explosion. Yet a leak would be more likely to ignite in a densely populated area because there are more ignition sources.
An administrative law judge for the state Public Utility Commission heard a second day of testimony Friday on whether to continue to allow operation of the controversial Mariner East pipelines while she reviews a request that the lines be permanently shut down. Several residents say Sunoco’s public awareness plan in the event of a leak is inadequate.
The pipeline will carry volatile propane, ethane and butane, which has raised fears of many who live near it — even though explosions are rare. As part of StateImpact Pennsylvania’s “Mariner East 2: At what risk?” series, we put together this video to explain what those substances are and how they act both inside the pipeline and if they got out, and how you should respond if there’s a leak.
As part of the “Mariner East 2: At what risk?” series, StateImpact Pennsylvania reports how pipeline opponents say Sunoco’s construction makes them worried about the volatile liquids flowing through the line. The data can be useful, but there may be more to the story, two experts said.
As part of the “Mariner East 2: At what risk?” series, StateImpact Pennsylvania reports how firefighters are trained to respond to a pipeline explosion, though shutting the line down would be the company’s responsibility. Energy Transfer Partners says most of Mariner East 2’s valves can be controlled remotely.
As part of the “Mariner East 2: At what risk?” series, StateImpact Pennsylvania reports that pipelines are not likely to explode, but sometimes, they do — and that makes a huge impression on our brains.
As part of the “Mariner East 2: At what risk?” series, StateImpact Pennsylvania reports how the lack of siting regulations for pipelines mean they can be built close to homes, for example. “What are you going to do?” said one man who lives near where an explosion of part of a different pipeline occurred recently.