So I started looking at the interactive pipeline map again along with the pipeline website for Chester County set up by the Chester County Planning Commission. And it prompted an email to pipeline companies and the Chester County Planning Commission to clarify how we would possibly be affected where we live. ( I will note we have neighbors not so far away who have like three pipelines running through their property.)
“When I look at our mapping, which uses the National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS) that the Federal Government maintains, in conjunction with the pipeline operators, the western edge of your house is roughly 1,030 feet from the closest line, which is Interstate Energy, which is planned to be converted to natural gas.”
~ Carrie from Chester County Planning Commission
Yikes. (and that is the most polite phrase fit to print.)
And for what isn’t planned, possibly planned, maybe planned, who knows what plan exists right through my backyard and/or woods, well I would be close enough to be in a blast zone. Only it is apparently not politically correct to use that phrase, because when I did, I was told:
Regarding your concern about being in a “blast zone,” our office does not define or utilize the phrase “blast zone.” We do use the term Consultation Zone, which is a term used by the federal government and operators to distinguish an area of 1000 feet (in Chester County) on either side of an existing transmission pipeline where coordination between local officials, landowners, and operators are encouraged to consult with each other before land developments are planned for these areas. The US Department of Transportation (which houses the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s Office of Pipeline Safety) sponsored a planning effort known as “Pipelines and Informed Planning Alliance” (2010,) which identified the phrase Consultation Zone. They define it as an area extending from each side of a transmission pipeline to describe when a property developer/owner, who is planning a new development in the vicinity of an existing transmission pipeline, should initiate a dialogue with the operator. (see https://primis.phmsa.dot.gov/…/pipa-report-final-20101117.p…) These zones are a recommended practice and not something that is required.
As another person pointed out to me:
…the Blast Zone is something different. PHMSA calls it the “Buffer Zone” but sorry, we and our loved ones are not buffers.
If Adelphia [and others] end up being like Mariner East, at a 1000 ft you will be within the Blast Zone.
Whether Buffer Zone, Consultation Zone, or Blast Zone….they are all scary bad zones to me, o.k.?
Well now, apparently I will have skin in the game? That now I can join all of the other Chester County and Delaware County residents worrying about pipelines?
Fabulous. Worry is such a good look on people, right? (Dripping sarcasm, can you feel it?)
What started me like Alice down the proverbial pipeline rabbit hole this week is something I saw posted on Charlestown’s website:
You see, in neighboring East Whiteland Township where I live, the township doesn’t have much out there yet on the pipelines. All I found (easily – I say easily because perhaps information is hidden deep down in website ) was the Adelphia Gateway letter from January, which I had already seen. Here it is:
A lot of townships now have stand alone pages with pipeline information. Like East Goshen, Uwchlan, and Upper Uwchlan, for example. (CLICK HERE and CLICK HERE and CLICK HERE) All townships with any pipelines should have these informational pages in my opinion.
I will note that when I sent my email to Chester County Planning about pipelines in my particular neighborhood, while the planning commission was kind and replied to me, only ONE pipeline company gave me the courtesy of a reply acknowledging my outreach. Ryan Lumbridge from Enbridge. He offered up his phone number if I need to speak with him. I will call him but I am most concerned with Adelphia Gateway and Interstate Energy. And apparently since now a couple of days has passed without even a simple acknowledgement of contact, Adelphia Gateway and Interstate Energy don’t seem to think they need to communicate with residents.
The pipeline companies need to communicate. To Interstate especially I say if you plan to maybe possibly or maybe definitely plan to do something 1,030 from the edge of our property, you can show a little interest. I am on a well, I have gardens, I have beautiful woods and more. I want to know exactly what Interstate is planning to do if they do it and when. I am sure I am but one of many emails they get, and I am trying to be calm and rational, except I have seen what is going on in neighboring municipalities with Sunoco, and well, I don’t want my neighborhood to have these problems.
I reiterate my objections to these pipelines which rape and pillage and destroy so they can ship their good overseas so other companies in Europe and elsewhere can do things like make more plastic. Our homes are our castles, our American dreams and it is heinous that American companies can just take our land (without even just compensation in my opinion) and trash it for their profit. And put us in danger.
We are also densely populated enough that what if with other pipeline companies wishing to be Sunoco-Mariner East II-Lite something blows up? Collapses? Ruins wells, breaks water mains? Causes sinkholes? Brings down property values? We as residents are NOT protected. Officials can’t say it won’t happen because all the media coverage and whatnot shows it HAS happened. Are we just to repeat the same darn patterns over and over from pipeline company to pipeline company and municipality to municipality???
I am sure pipeline companies want residents to just go quietly into the night. We can’t. Our lives and our homes and our properties are at stake. You can’t bully, harass, or threaten us into submission. We live here and like it or not, we have rights. We shouldn’t have to be pipeline guinea pigs should we?
And right or wrong, I feel like these pipeline companies, our sitting Governor Tom Wolf, and even municipalities at times want us as residents to know as little as possible.
Here is a round-up of some recent articles I found: