Krueger-Braneky calls for halt of construction of Mariner East 2 Pipeline after latest spill

FOLSOM, July 19 – Following a series of safety issues, state Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-Delaware, released the following statement calling for a halt to the construction of the Mariner East 2 Pipeline:

“I am calling for an immediate moratorium on construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline until the state Department of Environmental Protection can ensure proper safeguards are in place to protect safety and property of local residents.

“Monday’s 1,500-gallon spill of bentonite drilling fluid in Middletown Township is just the latest in a series of pipeline and drilling-related incidents damaging local streams and water supplies. What happened this week was worse than a spill: at least one aquifer was impacted and potentially, a private drinking well in the area. Enough is enough. There have already been three documented spills of drilling fluid in the Chester Creek in Brookhaven and drinking water has been compromised in nearby Chester County. It is reckless and potentially dangerous to allow construction to continue until steps are taken to protect residents, their property, and our water supply from future spills.

“The state Department of Environmental Protection does not have the authority to oversee private water wells. In most other counties, the local Health Department has jurisdiction in this area to keep people safe. However, what makes a bad situation worse is that Delaware County is the largest county in the Commonwealth without a health department. Therefore, our residents lack the added protection many of our neighboring counties enjoy when it comes to protecting their drinking water.

“The repeated, preventable spills illustrate why we need stricter safety standards for pipelines and more timely communication about pipeline activities for homeowners and communities affected by their construction and operation. Lacking an agency with the authority to conduct a safety review on siting for projects like the Mariner East 2 pipeline is a glaring threat to public safety. We’re witnessing what happens when a pipeline is constructed through a densely populated area without any regulatory agency having to sign off on its path.

“That is why I have asked DEP to conduct independent water testing in all potentially impacted private wells, as well as the Chester Creek, so that residents have independent confirmation that their water is safe. I am also working with other legislators on a package of bills to address siting safety and other regulatory gaps.

“My top priority as a legislator is the safety of the people I represent and the protection of their private property. With bipartisan and community support already in place for improved pipeline safety, I am hopeful we will be successful in these efforts.”