I am glad it finally happened, and I will also own the fact that I have never been a huge Josh Shapiro fan, but he has finally started to do good here. A lot of us have been aware of him for years and truthfully that dates back to when he was Chief of Staff to then Congressman Joe Hoeffel. A lot of us who were involved with saving Ardmore’s historic business district from eminent domain for private gain had interactions with him early on. And to be honest back then he didn’t really pay attention to us as those concerned residents, and then we just sort of watched as the rest of people did in southeastern PA as he took one political job then the next. He’s a politician, so I’m just being honest here. But I am so happy that this finally happened. And I say thank you to AG Josh Shapiro.
But who else am I saying thank you to? My amazing friends who have devoted so much time to this. So much time. As someone who lives in close proximity to where Adelphia wants to do the same thing, I am grateful for their years of work. And it’s not over yet. It’s really just beginning.
These charges or the announcement of charges indicates my friends and these other activists who are just every day people. Because really, that’s how activism starts: something drastically affects you within your community. And you wake up one day and you realize you can’t just stand there and say nothing and do nothing. And we also have to remember former district attorney for Chester County Tom Hogan and his staff. In 2019 he filed charges against Energy Transfer for other things.
Today’s press conference was held at Marsh Creek right here in Chester County. Why? A bunch of these charges relate to the release of industrial waste at 22 sites in 11 counties across the state. And Energy Transfer polluted Marsh Creek last year and it was significant. For more read State Impact.
And I want to take another minute to recognize the local folks who really did this. Ladies and gentlemen you know who you are. Many of you are my friends. I am so damn proud of you.
So proud. It’s not the war, but it’s a significant battle. So hey there Governor Tom Wolf how about pulling the permits? Harrisburg could do that pending outcome of all charges and final disposition, correct?
Here’s a good one for you: A 30+ years employee of Sunoco is running for WGT supervisor. As a supposed environmentalist ( she has a BS in business?)
But it’s West Goshen so what do we expect? But do we have to consider that if this person is a former Sunoco employee is that like letting the fox in the hen house when it comes to pipelines and municipalities in Chester County?
This political candidate removed her post about a valve leak and disappeared overnight. She had been asked questions by local pipeline activists (otherwise known as concerned residents) which she kind of ignored and deleted the entire post as opposed to answering the questions which kind of answers the ultimate question of what residents will get if they elect a former LONG TERM employee of Sunoco to elected public office right? Isn’t West Goshen one of those places which doesn’t need elected officials like this?
So like her former employer she colors outside of the lines and doesn’t answer questions right? Has anyone checked her campaign finance reports to see who (and what entities) have donated to her campaign?
Oh yes…the screenshots:
Now y’all know I don’t vote in West Goshen. And I find West Goshen to be politically problematic most of the time. And a lot of this woman’s local experience has to do with the sewer authority in West Goshen which I seem to recall has had lots of issues over the years?
People meet the fox 🦊. If you let her into the henhouse expect dead chickens 🐓 . No she’s literally not a fox and no West Goshen isn’t literally a henhouse.
Kind of like talking about a Wolf 🐺 in sheep’s 🐑 clothing which I also think applies here don’t you?
The tooth fairy 🧚♀️ would be a better choice for supervisor here.
Here is all about her from her fuzzy bunnies Facebook campaign page:
I will open with nobody trespassed to get these photos. I took screenshots off of videos that were shot this morning in West Whiteland. No one asked me to write anything, I am putting this out there because I am so concerned for these people who have to live with this. They live in danger EVERY DAMN DAY.
Where I live is where Adelphia wants to do similar things. I am in the blast zone for those pipelines. And East Whiteland Township doesn’t talk about pipelines, it’s like they don’t exist. We aren’t benefiting from what is being done with these new and updated pipelines, and this isn’t comparable to the old petroleum pipeline’s which have been here for 50 years or better. Different breed of cat, and has never put residents at risk the way Energy Transfer has.
So West Whiteland Township, do you care YET what your residents are going through? Township Manager Mimi Gleason, I have to ask would you want to be up all night with the drilling and thumping and boring? Would you want the sinkholes next to your house? A valid question would be do you even have a pipelines running next to your house? Mimi Gleason do you care about the residents you are responsible for keeping safe and aren’t?
West Whiteland Township under Gleason’s leadership, as well as the supervisors, is a disgrace. All they care about is how much new construction they can ruin the township further with, and it’s blatantly obvious when it comes to pipelines vs. people, they choose pipelines. If you don’t like my opinions on this, oh well.
This is what residents are living with. Constant sinkholes. Constant noise. Constant dirt. Constant degradation of their property values. And constant danger.
This is NOT ok. It has NEVER been ok.
And an always amusing aspect of every time residents discover a sinkhole are the pipeline workers who try to block the residents views of seeing said sinkholes or anything they are doing that residents worry about (which is pretty much everything.) That and the fact that they photographed the residents photographing and videoing them. The residents aren’t doing anything wrong and that’s sort of passive aggressive harassment on their part, isn’t it? But what do we expect from Energy Transfer?
Today is the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment or the anniversary of women getting the right to vote.
Think about that. Imagine that day. The suffragettes had worked so hard. They literally were put in jail at times trying to get to August 26, 1920.
Happy Women’s Equality Day, ladies.
The Women’s right to vote was ratified on August 18, 1920 but was not certified until August 26, 1920. It had to be certified by a government official. So on August 26, 1920 the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution was certified by U.S. Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby at his home at 8 A.M. which is why today is Women’s Equality Day and the 100th Anniversary.
Now these suffragettes, these women, these ordinary extraordinary women of their time were labeled as radicals. Just like the women in the 1960s forward who have tried to get the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) ratified and certified. Sadly the Equal Rights Amendment is still a proposed amendment almost 100 years later because did you know that the first version of the ERA was written by Alice Paul and Crystal Eastman and introduced to Congress in December of 1923? Yes the same Alice Paul who bore witness to Bainbridge Colby certifying the 19th Amendment 100 years ago today.
Radicals. Shrill. Bitches. You name it, people (men and women) will have a offensive descriptive adjective to apply to women who wish to preserve their rights and the rights of others . It’s like being a strong woman is a crime. It’s like being a woman active in your community as well as your home is a crime. Look no further than the pipeline issues in Chester County.
Over the past couple of days I have written about the pipeline problems and related political machinations. (See this post and this post). Women I know, like, and respect are being labeled as radicals and also quite unbelievably inferred to be traitors to the Democratic Party of Chester County. And a quite obscure yet hideous Nazi sympathizer descriptive adjective was applied to one who is of Jewish faith.
And all of this was done by a man, I won’t refer to him as a gentleman because he’s certainly not, who works and has a relationship with State Representative Kristine Howard. This man is also from Pittsburgh. And why is it he meddles in our politics? If he wants to be around elected officials, why doesn’t he run for office where he’s from in Pittsburgh? I don’t understand why we need Pittsburgh politics in Chester County Pennsylvania do you?
Why is this man so desperate for Kristine Howard to be reelected? Who else does he work for? Why does State Representative Kristine Howard just sit silently and allow good women and any woman upset by either her lack of performance or who care about issues like pipelines because they either have a brain in their head or because they are directly affected to be maligned and denigrated?
Why does Kristine Howard as a woman and elected official not have her own voice? And if you ask around Harrisburg are you going to be told the people hear her voice with great regularity? Is she either unwilling or unable to have a voice? It’s a great puzzle. Because you have to wonder if she really wants to be a state representative don’t you? Or is this man actually the power behind the throne and he’s running this state representative seat only he wasn’t elected to office and he’s not a resident of Chester County right? And is she either unwilling or unable to have a voice? It’s a great puzzle. Because you have to wonder if she really wants to be a state representative don’t you?
And let’s also wonder about the Chester County Democratic Party. If the Chair, is not acting in the best interest of the women being denigrated and singled out specifically in the emails which have been flying and the nasty Facebook stuff and ads during the primary, is he fit to lead? And are those two women also on the Executive Committee who are essentially trying to say if you’re not a good little Stepford Wife you essentially should be politically shunned? Or if you God forbid talk to someone of another political persuasion who is not a Democrat you should also be shunned and the party shouldn’t back you if you want to run for office and so on and so forth?
*******(The screenshots have to be downloaded and then enlarged so here is the text from them verbatim and any spelling/grammar errors all on them.) ******
Please see the attached social media posts made by Ginny Kerslake and Wendy Graham Leland.
The posts clearly demonstrate that Mrs. Kerslake and Mrs. Graham Leland are openly colluding to cause harm to Representative Howard’s candidacy and benefit the campaign of her Republican opponent. Let ‘s be clear, Mrs. Kerslake and Mrs. Graham Leland are tagging each other in the posts when there is no reason to do so except to politically denigrate Kristine.
In my previous email when we called for banning Lani Frank from all Chester Democratic Committee social media platforms for her direct and indirect assistance to Republican Graham Leland, we did not include Mrs. Kerslake or even mention her by name. However, with this clear and present evidence of her collusion with Rep. Howard’s Republican opponent, a ban of Mrs. Kerslake on the party’s social media platforms is also called for.
Simply removing posts is not enough. A clear message must be sent that undermining the Democratic nominees chosen by our voters will not be tolerated. I am under the impression that your bylaws preclude Democrats who support Republicans from holding party offices or seeking the party’s endorsement for a public office for a period of two years. We are requesting the Executive Committee notify Mrs. Kerslake and Ms. Frank that they are in violation of the rules and may be prohibited from holding party office or seeking the Democratic Committee endorsement for a public office in the next two election cycles.
I thank you for your response to my earlier email. However, I disagree with your conclusion to merely take down posts. I believe the most corrective and preventive action is to ban the perpetrators of such betrayals. As you requested, I am sending this to your leadership team and the zone leaders in Kristine’s District first. If the executive committee does not act in a timely and affirmative manner, in the interest of transparency, I will share it with the committee as a whole and encourage them to take appropriate action.
The Committee to Elect Kristine Marty Marks 412.352.0317
Hi, I have been advocating that these actions result in banning from CCDC social media sites and informing all members of the EC about the action and why it has been taken. So far our tactics of ignoring or a slight slap on the wrist has only emboldened this group. It is time for CCDC to stand up for our candidates and our values. This is not a new problem. The same people have been attacking fellow Democrats since the 2018 primary.
From: Marty Marks <email@example.com> Date: August 23, 2020 at 10:04:45 AM EDT Subject:It is time to ban the quislings
Dear members of the Democratic Committee,
Giving aid and comfort to the enemy in a time of battle is treason. We are experiencing such betrayals at this very moment undercutting our mission to elect Democrats up and down the ballot in November.
For example, see this post on the Chesco Dems Facebook page made by Lani Frank, a former member of the Democratic State Committee and an unsuccessful candidate for Chester County Democratic Chair:
Nice of you to show concern now. Why don’t you stand up for our values and call for a stop to this nightmare instead of taking money from the very PAC’s that support the continuation of this project. You can’t have it both ways. Take a stand.
Please note that the comment is edited. When it was originally posted it was specifically addressed to Representative Kristine Howard and stated her name. Lani Frank was attacking Kristine for not sharing exactly the most extreme positions Lani Frank and a few others hold regarding the Mariner East Pipeline.
And this is not the first example of her duplicitous behavior. After Kristine won her primary in a most convincing manner against Lani Frank’s client, Ms. Frank publicly questioned the integrity of voting by mail suggesting there was something inherently wrong causing harm to her client. At a time when Democrats in Chester County and throughout the country were pushing voting by mail and championing its efficacy, Ms. Frank was sounding like Donald Trump.
Please don’t get me wrong. Ms. Frank is entitled to freedom of speech and she can avail herself of a multitude of forums to enjoy it. I am suggesting to you, in the midst of an historic election when we have an opportunity to flip the PA House from red to blue, we should not be giving her or anyone else a forum on our Democratic Party social media platforms to denigrate our candidates, and give aid and comfort to their Republican opponents.
I apologize for appearing to be singling out Ms. Frank because she certainly is not alone in this behavior. Since the Primary Election, Kristine’s primary opponent and a few of her supporters, Kristine’s Republican opponent and Ms. Frank have been interacting on social media platforms. I am merely seeking to make the point that during the General Election campaign we should not be providing a forum for anyone to attack the very candidates that our Democratic primary voters selected as their nominees, and in Kristine’s case by a nearly 60% plurality.
Ms. Frank and her allies seek to re-litigate the Primary Election, ignoring the results and obsessing about the candidate the voters overwhelmingly elected. Ms. Frank would have us believe this is about issues related to the Mariner East Pipeline. Rather, I detect the bitter flavor of sour grapes.
Rep. Howard – who enjoys a 100% lifetime pro-environmental rating on the Pennsylvania Environmental Scorecard used by Conservation Voters, Sierra Club and Clean Water Action – has taken strong stands demanding transparency and accountability from pipeline operators. When recent violations took place that allowed 8,000 gallons of drilling fluid to flow into Marsh Creek Lake, she immediately called the Governor’s office and requested urgent intervention. The Governor responded by shutting down drilling at the site and launching investigations by the appropriate regulatory agencies.
Kristine supports the conclusions and actions taken by DEP to date and demands there be remediation of any damage the company’s actions may have caused. She supports tough civil and criminal penalties for any and all violations that have been committed including the possibility of revoking the company’s permits to do business in Chester County if the evidence justifies it. Kristine believes in the regulatory processes that the legislature in which she serves has established and she supports having the scientific data and evidence the investigations will reveal before determining what penalties should be levied on the company.
Most informed people understand that the pipeline under construction today was approved by local, state and national leaders long before Rep. Howard became a candidate for the legislature. Furthermore, until we flip the house from red to blue, Democrats can do little more than grandstand on the issue. Those of you who know Kristine know that is not her style. While others organize sit-ins in the Governor’s office, Kristine has worked to have sit-downs at our Democratic Governor’s conference table. (I should mention that the Governor is the leader of our party and enjoys more than a 60% approval rating in Chester County)
On behalf of Democrats who want to flip the PA House from red to blue, I am asking you to ban Lani Frank from your social media platforms and delete comments and block anyone else who persists in undercutting our Democratic nominees.
Thank you and can we please put the Primary behind us and get on with the General Election?
Marty Marks 412.352.0317
Today marks a very important day for women in the United States. But I’m also here to remind you that there are still enough dark forces at work that we can lose ground if we are not careful.
I am not going to apologize for being profoundly disturbed by men and even women who want to label other women because of the courage of their convictions. And it’s never become more apparent until this pipeline issue heated up again. It’s why I also think on social media we need a #FacesOfMarinerEast.
The #FacesOfMarinerEast aren’t radicals. They aren’t bitches. They aren’t shrill. They are regular people affected by something that is out of control. The #FacesOfMarinerEast are people you know and are friends with and aren’t even related to possibly.
The #FacesOfMarinerEast are your neighbors, people you see in the supermarket, people you see in the car rider line at school, people you see in church, people you see walking your dog in your neighborhood.
The #FacesOfMarinerEast aren’t a bunch of handmade protest signs, they are people from all walks of life and professions.
The #FacesOfMarinerEast are also people like Chester County‘s children who look longingly at what once was their Little League field in Exton the pipelines took over.
So when questionable political operatives from Pittsburgh want to label as “radicals” women I know, respect, and call friends, it’s time to cry happy horse manure on that. Women fighting to preserve where we call home and who wish for all of us adult and child that we are protected and not just long term victims of pipeline companies are oh hell to the no not radicals, they are our heroines. They our are everyday people who have taken a stand for good over greed.
Do not let the future generations lose ground because people still want to put women down. Especially because standing up for what you believe in is one of the tenets of being an American.
Ladies, again, Happy Women’s Equality Day. Stand up, be heard, be counted and in November….VOTE. And pass along the #FacesOfMarinerEast and let your light shine bright.
These are just people. These are just people who live in Chester County. These are just people whose well water has been fouled and property values decreased. These are the people that get sinkholes on their property now because of pipeline work. These are the people who travel busy public roads that get sinkholes from pipeline work. These are just people with reasonable expectations of quiet enjoyment. A reasonable expectation of quiet enjoyment is actually legal term isn’t it?
And when they look outside, they see sites like I captured in the still images from a live video feed a few minutes ago. And it’s just not the savaged landscapes it’s the sounds. Everywhere you go you hear the sounds of the pipeline equipment. And there was this thump thump thump that will echo in your brain for days if you even just drive through an area with work going on. That is noise pollution. Sometimes where I live I can hear the rhythmic thump, thump, thump from neighboring townships dealing with Sunoco/Energy Transfer/Sunoco Logistics.
And don’t forget the light pollution from the night work, right? Even if the temperatures cool down, how can affected residents open their windows for a beautiful night sky and maybe even a breeze? The night work lights make that impossible right? So take away that aspect of a reasonable expectation of quiet enjoyment for that too, yes?
As I was listening to this live video feed this morning I was very sad to hear this gentleman say they’ve been (meaning the pipeline company) here over two years, they were supposed to be here three months. I don’t know if I got what he said word for word but I think that’s pretty darn close.
So State Rep. Kristine Howard, your pool boy (or whatever he is other than from Pittsburgh) is calling these poor people RADICALS? They are just people. They are just residents. They are also your constituents in some cases. Your pool boy is calling people quislings??? Do you even get the historical reference and how offensive and wrong this is? Especially to those of Jewish heritage?
Quisling as a word word originates from the surname of the Norwegian war-time leader Vidkun Quisling, who headed a domestic Nazi collaborationist regime during World War II. Quisling was put on trial for war crimes in Norway after World War II. “He was found guilty of charges including embezzlement, murder and high treason against the Norwegian state, and was sentenced to death. He was executed by firing squad at Akershus Fortress, Oslo, on 24 October 1945.”
People I love are of Norwegian heritage, and so are other friends and relatives.This use of this word is beyond offensive to us and to my friends who are Jewish. How does something like that even come out of this guy’s mouth or keyboard? And WHY? Even if he doesn’t like them he can’t use other word choices?
And it doesn’t stop there. Then there is this:
So what is the lesson here? Other than if you think pipelines are bad, or think pipeline permits should be pulled and pipeline work stopped completely until a real and actual and thorough inspection is done according to pool boys from Pittsburgh and leadership in the Chester County Democrat Committee we are all bad and radical people?
And the other lesson is what? If you are a Democrat you can’t talk to Republicans? If you are a Democrat you will be drummed out of the part for speaking to anyone who is not a Democrat or someone they approve of? HOW IS THAT EVEN LEGAL TO PROPOSE OR EVEN MORAL? I did not sign up for this crap when I moved to Chester County as a (then) lifelong Republican. I did not sign up for this crap when I changed from being an Independent to a registered Democrat for the fakakta primary. You know, I would switch back to Independent right now except I am going to enjoy being a ticket splitter and casting my vote for Wendy Graham Leland. As Chester County Democratic Committee leadership seems easily swayed and confused, please not I am not telling anyone how to vote. I am telling you how I will be choosing to vote. BIG DIFFERENCE.
The Chester County Democratic Committee claims on their website that “.. the Chester County Democratic Committee in standing for Freedom, Fairness, and Opportunity — regardless of who people are, what they believe, and where they come from. Together, we can make Chester County and Pennsylvania better places for all!”
So how does the above jive with:
And do we realize what the transgression was? Ginny Kerslake and Wendy Graham Leland (AKA State Rep. Kristine Howard’s opponent) commenting on a public thread about pipeline issues on Facebook. Not some Democratic party controlled message board, and even then, what is the big freaking deal? We aren’t supposed to speak to anyone who isn’t our political persuasion ever? So the takeaway is we are only supposed to live and breed in Stepford and be bobbleheads? Talk about taking a page out of Trump’s book of Suburban Housewife Rules, right?
Are we quite literally all Pravda on this bus? Am I a bad person because I have friends from different political parties like Ginny Kerslake and Wendy Graham Leland? Is the chair of the Chester County Democratic Committee Dick Bingham going to act on the attacks on Chester County residents who are Democrats? Or is his position personally pipelines over people?
Newsflash to pool boys from Pittsburgh, invisible state representatives seeking re-election, and the apparently malleable and spineless “leadership” of the Chester County Democratic Committee: Pipelines are a non-partisan issue. They affect everyone. To say we are radicals or traitors or whatever the verbiage is because we don’t like pipelines is deeply troubling as well as wrong. To tell registered Democrats or even registered Republicans we may not talk to our friends and neighbors because they are of a different political party is just a big bag of political pathetic tossed into a big box of wrong. It goes against every tenet of just being an American. It’s downright anti-American. Dick Bingham, MayAnn Piccioni, and Charlotte Valyo should be removed from their leadership roles. Somehow I do not think Joe Biden who has many, many friends across the political aisle would approve of these current events in Chester County, do you?
Oh and the lovely US Constitution allows my opinion.
We cannot allow outsiders to control our political parties. It’s anti-democracy.
Today boys and girls we learned once again on so many levels, how bad pipelines are for our communities. Vote your conscience in November and no matter what, do not think for one single moment that your friends, neighbors, relatives and more are bad radical people because they think the pipelines need to go. Energy Transfer/Sunoco Logistics/Sunoco are not nice people and they don’t operate for anyone other than themselves. They are pure profits over people, and well it’s time for #peopleoverpipelines. #DefendWhatYouLove #MamaBearBrigadeRocks
As if the Trumpublican convention wasn’t troubling enough comes an email circulating:
So he’s not meaning to diss Lani Frank and others, but he is? Did I miss some memo or Daily Local or Inquirer article about who his guy is? Does he date State Rep Kristine Howard or does she just pay him for ummm campaign services? Why is some rando-man from Pittsburgh so concerned about people in Chester County?
I mean I don’t really know much about him other than he blocks me on Twitter 🤣
So according to this political pretzel logic, if you are against the Mariner II pipeline and think State Rep. Kristine Howard is doing a crap job and is some kind of odd political puppet with no voice of her own, you are a radical? Is he saying I am a radical? Is he saying moms worried about their kids drinking pipeline tainted well water are also radicals? Is it just me or does this guy actually sound like a Trumpublican???
So the point of this email is what exactly? Attacking people who actually live and vote in Chester County? Attacking anyone who opposes Kristine Howard? Did Kristine Howard have on her magic cloak of invisibility when people like State Rep. Greg Vitali visited Marsh Creek August 14th to see the plume of pollution in the water? So is her “friend” or employee saying people like Vitali or any other elected official who are questioning the pipelines being here are also radicals?
So Chester County Democrat Committee why are you letting some guy from Pittsburgh try and influence your committee people? And why is this guy and by association Kristine Howard so afraid of people like Lani Frank? Because these more independent voices might be right?
I just don’t get it. And it’s all a little sleazy, isn’t it?
I will be honest a few points jumped out at me like 11 & 12 & 15 respectively and make me wonder how long this has been going on?????
From the letter:
Drilling logs indicate that from June 2, 2020, through June 6, 2020, over 20,000 gallons of drilling fluid were reported as lost. Please explain how the daily volume of lost drilling fluid is calculated. Also, please explain how Sunoco determines when the drill has experienced a loss of circulation. Further, please explain why a 500-gallon fluid loss was reported in a Loss Prevention Report on March 3, 2020, but the June fluid losses were not so reported.
Drilling logs indicate that on August 8, 2020, 17,000 gallons of mud were mixed and the washover tool was tripped out of the bore. Please explain the rationale for these actions and the drilling conditions/observations at that time.
Explain why grout was used in the drilling mud on July 9, 2020, and July 10, 2020. Was this a labeling mistake or was grout pumped downhole?
Erin Brocovich has even taken an interest in our plight:
Does Energy Transfer/Sunoco/ Sunoco Logistics realize the national stage is being set as more and more people are becoming aware?
This is one of my favorite protest signs from I am not sure when:
I leave you this evening with photos say a 100 words. Drone photos courtesy of PK Ditty:
COVID19 fatigue. I am thinking it’s a real thing. No, not talking about people being fatigued after recovering from COVID19, I am talking about being on mental and emotional overload without really realizing it.
I don’t know about you, but I’m just tired of it all. I’m tired of wearing masks but I know I have to wear one.
I’m tired of having a hard time finding masks that actually fit because a lot of them aren’t adjustable.
I’m tired of trying to do things like find disinfectant wipes or even a blessed can of Lysol spray because they are either out of stock or someone is price gouging.
I am tired of not feeling comfortable enough to go do my own shopping in the grocery store because I live an immunocompromised life and the few times I have been out there are so many people that will stand within close proximity to other people not wearing a mask it sort of freaks you out.
I am tired of not seeing my friends and I don’t even go out that much. But it’s summer and it’s the time when you enjoy your friends company and you do cookouts and you go on vacation together. Whatever your routine, it no longer exists.
I am tired of watching all my friends with school-age kids and kids in general worry. It’s summertime kids are supposed to be able to play outside with abandon, go to summer camp, have sleepovers, and a lot of that isn’t occurring.
I was talking to a friend yesterday who said her children don’t even want to do online anything at this point because they are so tired of virtual everything they want real life again. I totally get it. Last week I did a historic “walking tour“ of West Chester, only it was virtual. It wasn’t that it wasn’t interesting, but I realized how much I would’ve loved it being in the town with a group of people on a tour and my camera instead of on a zoom virtual event.
With a few of my friends in particular I’ve seen very little of and it’s just because of what’s going on. Normally this time of year we will have our little summer day trips together where we go and look at antique stores, or walk around say Kennett Square and have lunch, go to a Life’s Patina opening, or to the herb sale or art show at Historic Yellow Springs but we haven’t really seen each other. It’s not because we’re mad at each other or anything like that it’s all because of COVID-19. I haven’t even gone to see the goats this year at Yellow Springs Farm because of COVID19.
We live in a world where we are all holed up in our own little universes. And how can we feel safe out in the world when COVID19 cases keep spiking and people are partying like it’s 1999 with complete abandon and disregard (cue the dumb ass college students at Villanova University.) And oh for God’s sake yes I remember that age and outside summer parties where where it was at, but we didn’t have a global pandemic to contend with.
I am watching via social media my friends dropping off their children at college. And I know they’re trying to put up a good front, but at the same time I know they are concerned because going out into the world with #COVIDidiots can be a problem.
I know people who are keeping their kids home this semester, I know people whose kids want to stay home this semester because they’re afraid of how their schools are approaching COVID19. I know people who are choosing to essentially homeschool their children for the year because they’re not comfortable with whatever it is their school districts are doing wherever they live.
I know plenty of people who are economically stressed right now because of all the additional expenses involved with COVID19. And then there are those who have taken pay cuts and been laid off. And then there is the whole category of my many friends who own small businesses who are just trying to stay afloat.
Meanwhile, a chain restaurant along the Main Line which closed a few years ago got COVID19 money. Bucca di Beppo. And it closed around 2013!
We can’t even go visit our natural resources without worry. And we have Energy Transfer / Sunoco /Sunoco Logistics for that. They polluted Marsh Creek Lake. And oh yes it’s a water source.
People are snapping out at friends and family. It’s COVID19 stress. Then add the stress of this country’s current political nightmare. We have a president who is essentially trying to dismantle the United States Postal Service. Because he doesn’t want to be honest about COVID19 but he doesn’t want to lose the election either so he wants to screw up our ability to vote by mail. Yes I believe the political stress caused by a toxic president who acts like a malignant narcissist adds to all of this COVID19 fatigue as well.
Add to this all of the weird weather. We keep having storms which feel like biblical proportions that do all sorts of damage in a time where we’re really searching for a little good news. Even if you deliberately try to avoid the news these days, you can’t avoid the news these days. like among today’s headlines is the fact that the United States has surpassed 170,000 deaths from COVID19.
Personally, I’m kind of over 2020. This adulting stuff is hard this year. It’s ridiculous. Try to keep the faith, people. It’s like our only option.
By Erin Cox and Gregory S. Schneider July 5, 2020 at 7:07 p.m. EDT
The two energy companies behind the controversial 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline on Sunday abandoned their six-year bid to build it, saying the project has become too costly and the regulatory environment too uncertain to justify further investment.
The natural-gas pipeline would have tunneled under the Appalachian Trail on its way from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina…Property rights advocates in the Appalachians joined with an ashram in central Virginia and black Baptists from a rural county to make opposing the pipeline a high-profile political and social justice issue….Virginia-based Dominion Energy and North Carolina-based Duke Energy spent $3.4 billion on the project….But company officials said in a statement that other recent federal court rulings linked to the Keystone XL pipeline have heightened the litigation risk, extended the project’s timeline and further ballooned the cost of the project…
(Washington Post 7/5/2020)
So if the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline have been stopped, why not Mariner II?
I do not know how you could have missed the news this week. It started when Sunoco/Energy Transfer breached the aquifer and mud emerged from the ground while drilling on Saturday on Shoen Road. This is where my friend Ginny lives. I will let her words from five days ago be heard now:
It was a rough day y’all. Started before 6am with Sunoco violating our township noise ordinance. Then at 1:40pm I sent an email to Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection staff in charge of Mariner East informing them that Sunoco’s plan to handle a frac-out of drilling mud on our property was failing and instead of Sunoco stopping drilling as required or the DEP forcing them to, they all did NOTHING. Two hours later there was a river of drilling mud flowing across our property. All this while an estimated 250,000 gallons of formerly pristine groundwater pour down the drill hole every 24 hours to be hauled away as residual waste….. enough to fill an Olympic sized swimming pool every two days. This is expected to continue for a few months.
The upside of all this: As I stood at the road, amongst a crowd of township police and glaring workers and security, and with the support of friends, people from our community driving by gave thumbs up and bold raised fists.
Community power. Defend what you love.
~ Ginny Kerslake 8/10/2020
And I watched live videos where it looked like my friend Ginny was being menaced on her own property? It has been crazy. My friend Ginny, however, is grace under pressure. And she pointed out on Tuesday:
As an estimated 250,000 gallons of ground water per day gushes down the borehole from the Mariner East HDD on Shoen Road in West Whiteland Township to be hauled away as waste, after Sunoco beached the aquifer yet again, let’s look at the situation in Edgemont, Delaware county where Mariner East drilling also destroyed private wells. But unlike in West Whiteland, THERE IS NO PUBLIC WATER OPTION.
Erica Tarr’s family has been without clean running water for several months. They have had to dig a new well and put in expensive filtration devices to no success and at great expense to them. Aqua PA has quoted them $500,000 to extend a new public water line to their home. Sunoco had done nothing for them. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has done nothing for them.
Where’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro? He has been investigating Mariner East for over a year now. Meanwhile this family is denied our constitutional right to clean water. So many families have been denied this right along this egregious project and in Western PA due to fracking, many without the resources to fight or fix, or without even knowing their water was contaminated. Where’s Governor Tom Wolf?
A reminder of Pennsylvania’s Green Amendment, proudly passed in 1971:
“The Environmental Rights Amendment (ERA), (Article I, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution), states: The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment.”
What’s there to be proud of Pennsylvania?
~ Ginny Kerslake 8/11/2020
Ginny had this to say today:
As the DEP investigation into and cleanup of the drilling lubricant spill into Marsh Creek continues, so too do the investigations at Shoen Road where Sunoco has breached the aquifer and mud emerged from the ground while drilling on Saturday.
In a bold-faced life Sunoco claims they did not breach the aquifer, though they did it in 2017 and 2019 in their previous failed attempts and 250,000 gallons of water has been flowing back through the pilot hole and is being pumped 24/7 from drill pit.
And why isn’t the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection doing the appropriate analysis to determine an inadvertent return?
Time for the DEP to pull the permits
“This is an example of the crisis of our time. The people of Pennsylvania have a right to clean air and pure water, public health, safety and private property.
“Yet the priority seems to be protecting a multi-national, private, for-profit corporation, which then exploits and degrades our resources, our quality of life and our health and safety. Who does our government work for?”
~ Ginny Kerslake 8/14/2020
So what is Ginny talking about? Why the fouling of Marsh Creek by Sunoco/Energy Transfer this week. Lots of us, myself included have kept kids away from beautiful Marsh Creek since the polluting event this week.
Marsh Creek. A simply beautiful place loaded with wildlife. Where drinking water lives.
I first learned about Marsh Creek in my early 20s. I had a roommate back then who had grown up in the Downingtown area. Her mother worked for the EPA, so they were a family who completely respected the majesty of nature and were pro-environment back then.
Marsh Creek State Park was developed to help manage the water resources in the Brandywine Creek Watershed. Frequent flooding, water shortages, and lack of recreational opportunities were problems in the watershed.
The park was formerly a combination of rolling, wooded hills and small farms located on both sides of the Marsh Creek valley. The former village of Milford Mills is now under 30 to 50 feet of water. All of the buildings were removed; leaving only a few roads, foundations, and the embankments to the Larkin’s Bridge under the lake.
The lake was created by the damming of Marsh Creek. Construction of the dam occurred between May 1970 and June 1973. The impoundment is a 90-foot-high, 990-foot-long earth and rock fill dam on Marsh Creek, a tributary of the East Branch of Brandywine Creek.
On November 16, 1973, the gates of the dam were closed. The lake reached normal pool stage 218 days later on June 21, 1974.
At normal pool elevation of 359.5 feet above sea level, the impoundment covers an area of 535 acres plus a 25-acre wetland. The lake volume is 13,000 acre-feet (4.4 billion gallons) with a maximum depth of 80 feet at the dam.
The Marsh Creek watershed comprises 20 square miles of the Brandywine Creek watershed, which is part of the Delaware River Basin.
~ Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
My friend historian Catherine Quillman wrote a book about Milford Mills.
Way back in the first half of the 19th century, there was the tiny town of Milford Mills. A little village, really.
Little houses in the midst of sprawling farm country. A one room school house, a bridge, a general school.
Only in Your State says “Local legend also tells of a majestic mansion with 44 rooms. It was here, so goes the story, that supposed gangster Max Boo Boo Huff spent five years – from 1930 to 1935 – in the mansion, running a modern-day bar during Prohibition. Huff’s departure gave way to a new owner who turned the mansion into a resort.”
The village of Milford Mills existed until around 1970 when federal and local authorities decided a dam and a reservoir would be built there. The plans for Marsh Creek Dam meant the end of Milford Mills. I am told residents tried to fight it, but they lost and the village was razed. The dam was built and the man-made lake began to fill up with water. In 1974 or so the Marsh Creek Lake had a reported 100,000 fish added to it. The remnants of Milford Mills became the ghost town under the lake.
Marsh Creek was built to address water issues. It was built to provide drinking water for the Chester County Resources Authority. Apparently, previously there had been shortages. Also addressed by the creation of Marsh Creek? Alleviation of seasonal flooding. Of course I have to wonder given the intensity of infill development including around Marsh Creek if that still helps as much as they had thought it would. The park was also created and there are all sorts of things to do there. You can hike around and look at the ruins of Milford Mills, picnic, swim, sail, fish.
So when I first saw Marsh Creek it was I guess the late 1980s. I was in awe of how pretty it was plus fascinated by the mob stories and probable urban legend of wise guys ending up in the lake.
But now what lies ahead for Marsh Creek? How fouled is the water? Will we ever really know? What we do know is thanks to the brilliant activists.
Drilling fluid used in Sunoco Pipeline LP’s Mariner East project in Chester County leaked into Marsh Creek Lake in a state park of the same name on Monday — one of three incidents in recent days along the pipeline construction project route.
Virginia Cain, a spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, said the agency is investigating the three incidents, which occurred at two project sites, in West Whiteland and Upper Uwchlan Townships.
The DEP said the first leak occurred on the 100 block of Shoen Road in West Whiteland on Saturday. Both the DEP and the Fish and Boat Commission responded and tested water to see if it contained drilling fluids. Drilling was stopped to await an analysis of the liquid.
~ Philadelphia Inquirer 8/11/2020
And this heinous fouling of Marsh Creek Lake is not the only pipeline problem this summer. More and more sinkholes keep cropping up:
Pennsylvania pipeline inspectors announced Friday that they are investigating a new series of sinkholes that have opened up along Sunoco Pipeline LP’s Mariner East project route in Chester County after cracks were reported in the pavement of Business Route 30 in Exton, impacting some traffic.
Public Utility Commission safety inspectors are investigating subsidence that has occurred since July 10 in places where the controversial pipeline is under construction. The incidents happened not far from the West Whiteland Township location where sinkholes formed over the last two years, forcing several construction halts and service disruptions on the operating pipelines.
~ Philadelphia Inquirer 7/17/2020
I just. Can’t. Even. What in the hell has to happen to be enough? Is this enough to get these people out of our communities? These pipelines are the things you hear about, but if you don’t live close enough to a pipeline site you think we are all a collective of drama queens.
I used to think that it was mostly drama before I moved to Chester County. I thought “oh it can’t possibly be that bad.” Then there are the moments that stick in your head. One such moment occurred for me a couple of years ago. We invited Adelphia Gateway which wishes to do Sunoco-like projects to a parlor meeting in my living room. My friend Ginny sat on my sofa with tears in her eyes as she recounted what had happened to her and her family at the hands of pipelines at that point.
This parlor meeting was July 25, 2018. I will note that questions we gave to the PR talking head sent to handle us have to date never, ever been answered. Adelphia Gateway will have my entire neighborhood within a blast zone if they proceed, and we are on wells. There is not public water for us so what has happened this week on Shoen Road and at Marsh Creek is EXACTLY what I worry about along with the sinkholes and well, the very real fear of any of these lines blowing up.
Anti-pipeline activists are still painted as these awful people. Ladies and gentleman, they are your neighbors. People you socialize with. Go to church with. Your friends. My friends.
For the recent primary election, the pipeline proponents, supporters, etc spent a crazy amount of money to try to still our voices by attacking candidates who speak for us. Ginny Kerslake did not prevail in the end in the primary against sheeple Kristine Howard, but my other friend Danielle Friel Otten did survive and crushed her opponent. If that pro-pipeline money had NOT been spent, I believe Kristine Howard would have gone down in flames. She still can if people are now smart and get behind a third friend, Wendy Graham Leland. I know it is only a matter of time before Camp Lameass Howard starts in on her. I wish them luck there, but I digress. I know some amazing women, but I digress again. (Sorry I do that sometimes.)
Lookee here however, remember that the politics intertwined in the pipeline issues are very important. It’s a ridiculous game of who is on first.
People, we need to be first.
Please call on our leaders to demand Governor Wolf Pull the Mariner East Permits PERMANENTLY:
The pipeline leak into Marsh Creek earlier this week was an avoidable water emergency. To make matters worse, Marsh Creek is a source of drinking water for people in that community. Sunoco/Energy Partners demonstrates by their actions that they have little regard for the impact their negligence has on the community.
The issue surrounding water in Chester County is at its tipping point and is nothing less than a PA Constitution crisis. It is possible to support progress and be good stewards of our natural resources at the same time. In fact, our PA Constitution demands it, Article I, Section 27 says: “The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.”….AQUA is also engaging in a hostile takeover effort of our local water authority, Chester Water Authority (CWA). You may have seen the many, many SAVE CWA and Save Octoraro Reservoir yard signs in yards and on highways. AQUA wants to buy CWA. AQUA wants CWA because it stands to make billions on the deal, pulling vast amounts of money out of our fragile local economy. It also wants valuable public natural resources including the Octoraro Reservoir and 2000 acres of CWA land assets…..Will our water be sent to Northern Chester County for fracking?
~ Richard Ruggieri candidate for State Representative for District 13, learn more about him and his campaign at RuggieriPA13.com. 8/13/2020
Sunoco/Energy Transfer, the company behind the problematic and controversial Mariner East pipeline project, is in business with Aqua America, which provides water service to thousands of residents in Chester County, state Sen. Andy Dinniman revealed Friday.
“It is important that citizens know the relationship between companies involved with the Mariner East pipeline,” Dinniman said.
According to Energy Transfer’s 2018 annual report, the company owns a 51 percent stake in Aqua – ETC Water solutions, characterized as a “joint venture that transports and supplies fresh water to natural gas producers drilling in the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania.”
~ Daily Local News 6/28/2019
Talk about an unholy alliance, right? So Sunoco/Energy Transfer fouls the water. AQUA PA is public water and they are trying to take over the Chester Water Authority ? So that also guilt by association (or investment) means they are fouling Marsh Creek and so on but then they would have control over our water if AQUA PA takes over CWA?
Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ. (Yes I am an Outlander fan.) But seriously? You can’t make this stuff up! We are living it! And to what end? The destruction of where we call home and our water resources for freaking corporate profits?
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has responded to several reports of fluid discharges at construction sites for the Mariner East pipeline system in Chester County, including a confirmed spill at a state park.
Operation at the drill site has been suspended indefinitely.
Harrisburg, PA — The Departments of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and Environmental Protection (DEP) assured Marsh Creek State Park supporters that concerted efforts are underway to safeguard visitors and park resources in the wake of Monday’s pipeline drilling fluid spill affecting the lake; and that Energy Transfer will be held accountable to the full extent of the law.
“We are deeply concerned and troubled over this significant resource and recreation impact at Marsh Creek that comes at a time when that park, as are all our parks, is seeing incredible visitation rates amid the pandemic,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “Drawing more than 1 million visitors a year, Marsh Creek is among our most visited park, and water-based activities are the catalyst for that draw.
“The popularity of paddle-boarding alone is phenomenal at Marsh Creek Lake, and anglers and other boaters can be found daily on the lake. Containment, water testing, and remediation are underway, and access to affected water and shoreline will be restricted.”
Noting the park’s connecting trails and other strong ties to surrounding communities, Dunn said, “DCNR recognizes this park is beloved by those who live nearby and is an important resource to the people and businesses of surrounding communities. I feel it is important to let them know we’re standing by them on this.”
On Monday, August 10, DEP responded to a report from Sunoco of a potential inadvertent return at HDD 290, a drill site off Green Valley Road in Marsh Creek State Park in Upper Uwchlan Township, Chester County. Operation at the drill site has been suspended indefinitely.
Used in Sunoco Pipeline LP’s Mariner East project in Chester County, an estimated 8,100 gallons of drilling fluid (mud and water) leaked into wetlands off park property and into a tributary to Marsh Creek Lake. The spill is affecting the lake’s cove area along Park Road.
What’s The Status
Buoys will be used on the lake to delineate the affected area.
Approximately 33 acres of the 535-acre lake is now off-limits to boating and fishing.
Offering a swimming pool, the park does not permit beach-based swimming. Boating and fishing still is permitted on the rest of the lake, and the park remains open to all other activities.
“With the assistance of DEP, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, private contractors, and our park personnel, we are focusing on containment, cleanup, and remediation, and we need the public’s cooperation,” Dunn said. “Aiding that effort are DCNR park managers and rangers, as well as our aquatic specialists who will be gauging the spill’s effect on water quality and lake aquatic life.”
What’s Being Done
DEP, along with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC), continue to investigate and oversee the cleanup of the inadvertent return into Marsh Creek, said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell.
At the conclusion of the investigation, DEP anticipates that there will be civil penalties and potentially other regulatory ramifications.
Drilling activity at the site has ceased until further notice.
“Since the spill occurred on Monday, clean-up crews have made significant progress in collecting and containing spilled material. DEP aquatic biologists have been onsite since the beginning of the incident to assess the spill and ensure that cleanup activities are conducted properly. Downstream drinking water intakes have been notified and there are no concerns about drinking water safety. There have not been any complaints of impacted private water wells,” McDonnell said. “DEP is also actively coordinating with experts at DCNR, Department of Health, Army Corps of Engineers, and Public Utility Commission to ensure that the ongoing situation is managed consistently and safely. DEP has consistently held Sunoco accountable for violations and will do so in this instance as well.”
Located in northcentral Chester County, Marsh Creek’s lake and 1,784 acres offer a refuge for migrating waterfowl and also are popular with hikers, hunters, and picnickers.
More information about Marsh Creek and Pennsylvania’s other 120 state parks is available on the DCNR website.
MEDIA CONTACT: Terry Brady, DCNR, 717-877-6315; Virginia Cain, DEP, 484-868-2452
WEST WHITELAND — Sunoco/Energy Transfer workers hit and breached an underground aquifer at Shoen Road which since then has fouled 250,000 gallons per day of fresh drinking water, according to State Sen. Danielle Friel Otten, D-155th, of Uwchlan, and Shoen Road resident Ginny Kerslake.
The two women estimate that 50 trucks, with a capacity of 5,000 gallons each, have daily been removing water from the drill site of the Sunoco Mariner East pipeline.
Sunoco/ET spokesperson Lisa Coleman responded with a one-sentence comment.
“We did not impact the aquifer at Shoen Road,” wrote Coleman on Aug. 11.
UPPER UWCHLAN—On Friday morning, local public officials and legislators paddled to the site of Monday’s Marsh Creek Sunoco pipeline construction spill of about 10,000 gallons of drilling mud to monitor the mitigation process.
State Rep Danielle Friel Otten, D-155th, of Uwchaln and state Sen. Katie Muth, D-44th, of Royersford invited the dignitaries to view the damage and cleanup firsthand. They visited the popular state park lake via paddleboards, kayaks and canoes.
State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-157th, of Schuylkill said that the 10,000 gallon spill is alarming.
“I’m here to make sure our public parks are clean and the air around them is clean so people can enjoy,” she said. “Public parks are for all of us to enjoy.”
State Rep. Greg Vitali, D-166th of Haverford, discussed meeting climate change goals.
“We can’t continue to build fossil fuel infrastructure and reach our goals,” he said.
“Marsh Creek is a valuable ecological and recreation area and I was very concerned when I learned of the spill.
“I wanted to see firsthand the extent of the damage and the progress of cleanup efforts. I was pleased to see both cleanup workers and representatives of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection on the scene….In addition to Friel Otten, Muth, Vitali, Shusterman and D’Amico, state Rep. Dan Williams, D-74th, of Coatesville came out, as well as Chairman Bill Miller from Uwchlan Township and Rebecca Britton, Vice President of Downingtown Area School Board.
~ Bill Retter, Daily Local News 8/14/2020
So…who was NOT there at Marsh Creek today?HOW ABOUT STATE REPRESENTATIVE KRISTINE HOWARD? KRISTINE, IF IT ISN’T A PHOTO OP WITH GOVERNOR TOM WOLF AND CAROLYN COMITTA YOU CAN’T BE BOTHERED?
PLEASE VIEW THIS NEXT SCREEN SHOT WHILE IMAGINING BARBARA STREISAND SINGING “MEMORIES”:
While we are on the topic of who has and has not been to Marsh Creek can we mention that Governor Tom Wolf and Attorney General Josh Shapiro should have been there over the past few days?
Enough is enough #WaterIsLife #DefendWhatYouLove
I do not know about you but I am over this pipeline bullsheit. Over it. Ever new adventure in the land of pipeline drama is worse than the last. These pipeline companies are destroying where we live and don’t try to spin the crap that they employ locally unless Oklahoma and all the other states that make up the out of state license plates are suddenly IN Chester County?
We put our lives and sweat equity into where we call home. So why is it government is just allowing it all to be destroyed? Systemic corruption? Greed? What?
I don’t know where to go in my head. I grew up around oil companies. My father did PR for one for years. Years. But all the pipelines I ever knew about then were petroleum. Like the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, which started operating in 1977. Of course in that same vein, I remember the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in 1989. And I remember how the guy driving the tanker (while drinking) got off without felony charges.
As my friends from Just The Facts Please said regarding this latest jackassery word puzzle from Energy Transfer:
These [idiots] just can’t help themselves with their lies and stupidly worded statements. Marsh Creek IS an important drinking water source for this region. But I guess Kelcy Warren wouldn’t know that from his tower in Texas.
ETP states, “As a clarification to some public statements that have been made, no public drinking water has been impacted.”
So where in the Sam Hell do we go from here? I don’t know about you but I want these pipeline operators GONE. As in FOR GOOD. #SafetyOverSunoco #SoOverSuNOco
I know this is a ridiculously long post and I have meandered like a stream. But this Marsh Creek thing makes my head spin. This has to stop. Our elected officials need to man and woman up and kick the pipelines the hell out of Pennsylvania, starting with where we call home, Chester County, PA.