Something occurred to me the other day. And I am not a psychologist or expert in the field of how negativity affects people, especially where they live, so these are merely my opinions and observations.
We live in an area that was bucolic and peaceful. Agricultural and equine heritage and traditions. It is now being overrun by development. Every time you turn around, another community is threatened. That is stressful if you are directly affected/impacted, and it can raise your blood pressure just driving by a place where you used to see cows, or horses swishing their tails while they grazed to seeing how it is now just a big pit of scraped earth or budding Tyvec-wrapped communities where everyone is or will be jammed in like lemmings.
And then there are all of the pipeline sites. They are ugly and raw and NOISY. People’s property values are declining, their wells being poisoned by whatever the heck it all is they drill with (there are enough articles in local papers etc about this, right?) And we can’t forget the sinkholes. When I was first coming out to Chester County before I moved here, I used to love when I turned on 352 off of West Chester Pike if I came that way. All of a sudden it was just green with rolling stretches of lawn and trees. Now it is a raped landscape that actually stresses me out just driving by it, so I can’t even imagine how directly affected residents feel.
Or other area stressers like contested sites within municipalities where state agencies like PennDOT are concerned. Take the site of Route 352 (A/K/A N. Chester R or Sproul Rd) and King Road in Malvern. This directly affects residents in East Whiteland and East Goshen.
And here we are at year end and no one knows what is happening for sure at that intersection, and that includes the directly affected residents. Will they face any eminent domain? Will they face a complete loss of certain properties through eminent domain? It’s a big mystery. And I watch email after email by affected residents go by to municipal officials and PennDOT. PennDOT never replies. It is like they are ignoringthe residents utterly and completely, which adds to the feelings of stress, dismay and uncertainty.
Is it just me or have any of you noticed how people aren’t putting up their usual Christmas displays in some of these areas targeted by pipelines, development, construction, and PennDOT? This is what I have noticed, and it bums me out to see houses usually bright and cheery at the holidays look dark and sad. But in all fairness, if you were facing any of these things, how cheerful and full of Christmas spirit would you feel?
Life can be hard, that is the reality of life. But for a lot of these people, it shouldn’t be so hard. These folks moved here and bought their homes to raise their families. Their piece of the American Dream. You live right, pay your taxes, are part of your community. And your home is indeed your castle, and for a lot of these people there are quite literally barbarians at the gate.
Elected officials NEED to think about how these scenarios are affecting their constituents. All they have to do is drive by and notice how the longer these negative issues persist, how they affect people. Real people. People who in a lot of cases voted for them. It shows in the little things like gardening and holiday decorations. I think it is criminal to drive by homes where you know the owners were once so house proud and see these changes.
Just some of life’s little observations. Wishing these people peace.
Photo courtesy of West Whiteland Residents for Public Safety
Today more friends, acquaintances, and residents will be lending their voices and speaking truth to power over the scourge known as pipelines.
You see, this is day two of public hearings in West Chester that the PUC (Public Utility Commission) is holding on Mariner East. The pipelines are ruining where we call home and putting us ALL at risk. Corporate greed putting lives at risk. We don’t benefit as residents. We only assume risk and for what? So they can rape the land and ship dangerous things below our feet to places like Scotland that can blow us all to kingdom come, destroy our property values, pollute our drinking water wells and more?
Enough. Enough. Enough. It’s well past time to get them out of our communities.
The Philadelphia Inquirer had the best headline in years late yesterday when they went to press with:
by Andrew Maykuth Philadelphia Inquirer Updated: October 23, 2019- 5:43 PM
The contentious Sunoco Mariner East project once again occupied center stage in a courtroom Wednesday as 10 residents and a homeowners association from the Philadelphia suburbs implored a state agency to halt the cross-state pipeline.
….“It’s not that we’re against the pipeline, it’s that we’re for basic things that are threatened by this project, the first of which is obviously the safety of our communities,” said Eric Friedman, the head of the Andover Homeowners Association in Thornbury Township, Delaware County. He said all of the residents in the 39-home subdivision live in a potential “fatality zone” if the pipeline fails.
Seven residents of Chester and Delaware counties took their long-running fight against the Mariner East pipelines to a West Chester court on Wednesday, saying the Public Utility Commission should shut down the lines on the grounds that they are a danger to public safety.
They are urging a PUC administrative law judge to halt the operation and remaining construction of Sunoco’s still-unfinished pipeline project, on the grounds that any leak or explosion of natural gas liquids from the pipelines in densely populated suburbs like the two counties could result in mass casualties.
The plaintiffs are also seeking a court order that would require Sunoco to clarify its instructions on how residents should protect themselves in the event of a pipeline accident….Lawyers for Sunoco repeatedly accused Eric Friedman, a witness for the plaintiffs, of offering expert evidence that he was not qualified to give, but Barnes overruled several of their objections.
Under questioning from the plaintiffs’ attorney, Michael Bomstein, Friedman said a consultant’s projection on the impact of an explosion of NGLs showed that there would be fatalities within a radius of 800 feet…..Dr. Emilie Lonardi, superintendent of the 13,000-student Downingtown School District, told the court that five of her schools are between 300 and 1,425 feet of the pipeline route, and that despite many attempts to get detailed evacuation information from Sunoco, she remains worried about whether her students would be safe in a pipeline emergency.
She said she’s unable to assure parents at one elementary school that their children are safe.
“The hard thing for me is that I cannot look them in the eye and say yes,” she said.
The plaintiffs — Meghan Flynn and Rosemary Fuller of Middletown Township; Michael Walsh of Thornbury Township; Nancy Harkins of Westtown Township; McMullen; Caroline Hughes of East Goshen Township; and Melissa Haines of Aston Township — are pressing a case that has resulted in 11 months of legal filings and more than three years of public meetings, protests and court battles that have also involved the Department of Environmental Protection, local officials, the federal pipeline regulator PHMSA, state lawmakers, school districts, townships, and several environmental nonprofits…..Sunoco admitted in February 2019 that it made mistakes during construction
Read both of these articles. In their entirety. And to my friends in West Chester? Prayers up. #PipelinesOverPeople
Today Thursday is the second day of the hearing at High St and Market St at the historic West Chester courthouse. I have no courtroom information. The hearing should just be getting underway now.
Photo found on Internet. Possible source is Sierra Club
Sometimes you just have to grin from ear to ear. Michael Noone, the current First Assistant DA in Chester County PA has announced intent to bring a civil public nuisance action against #suNOco / #EnergyTransfer regarding the construction and operation of the Mariner East pipeline project.
Sunoco has 60 days to take corrective action and if the nuisance has not been corrected, the Chester County District Attorney’s Office will bring a civil action in the Chester County Court of Common Pleas alleging actions both past and present that create a public nuisance and which should be abated, restrained, or such other relief granted.
But hey you know, these pipelines and pipeline companies are just misunderstood, right? But no worries, certain state reps will just take more tours with pipeline companies and ignore their constituents, right?
Thank goodness for people who care enough to stick their necks out for what is right.
I am starting with P.K. Ditty’s video of today. It captures everything. And everything includes the fact that in my opinion today was just a photo op for Governor Tom Wolf and some of his lady supporters in Harrisburg who ummm, shall we say aren’t so beloved by their Chester County and Delaware County constituents at present over pipelines? Come on now ladies, you know who you are and I even like two of you personally (the third I do not respect at all) but I think all three of you (Democrats incidentally) are doing a crap job of representing residents on pipelines, alrighty? Don’t be like Tom Wolf’s Political Andrews Sisters (sorry not sorry, feeling politically sarcastic today.)
This was total BS what this event became. We all know it did not start that way correct?
Here is what went out August 22 from two local state reps which did NOT announce today, but I think sets a stage of political puffery:
Translation? GIANT PUBLICITY STUNT. I am hearing they are great at dodge ball with residents? Because this is really about what? Perhaps it is really about Governor Tom Wolf getting them re-elected so they can support the fakakta thing called Restore PA, AKA another hall pass for pipelines at the expense of residents?
Fakakta means something silly or ridiculous and a a word used to describe something that is not working well or is really crap. (It’s also a great description to apply to pipelines.)
State Senators Andy Dinniman and Daylin Leach listen to the residents on pipelines and they care. State Representatives Carolyn Committa and Kristine Howard showed up and I don’t quite no what else to say except I am massively disappointed in both of them over this. People are asking if Katie Muth actually showed up? And some other State Senator was there apparently. His name is Tim Kearney. Daylin Leach was there so one would have thought State Senator Katie Muth would have at least shown up to say how awful he is or something? (She’s good at that, right?)
Today in my opinion was yet another GIANT PUBLICITY STUNT. (And I am not pointing fingers at the State Senators who were there, to be clear.) Affected residents wanted to sit down and talk to our Governor. OUR GOVERNOR. AS IN IS SUPPOSED TO REPRESENT PENNSYLVANIANS EQUALLY. BUT DOES HE? HA! THAT WILL BE THE DAY….
Residents didn’t ask to stand in the heat and basically do the whole Oliver Twist “Please sir, I want some more” and beg for freaking gruel, did they?
With regard to the timing and planning of today’s political gymnastics or mini-circus, I found out this morning Wolf would be at the Giant parking lot on Boot Road in West Chester at 2 pm today. I heard certain media were informed by the Governor personally at some other appearance in Horsham this morning. But other media weren’t told? How does that work exactly? Word of mouth? No real press release? Top secret public location? Spy vs. Spy? I had a LOT of friends there. Friends who are directly affected by Energy Transfer/SuNOco/Mariner East Pipelines every. damn. day.
I don’t need to do a complete recitation of the problems with this pipeline, they are well known and well documented at this point, aren’t they? As human beings, we are at RISK. Our families are at RISK. Our wells are at RISK. Our properties are at RISK. Our elected officials and public officials and agencies know this and yet….MOST DO NOTHING, correct?
Today was a scripted appearance. Is it true that even media were restricted on questions or they weren’t supposed to ask questions? Were babies kissed? Did Lot’s wife turn into a pillar of salt? Oy vey so many questions I have and my political sarcasm cup runneth over today….but I digress.
My friend Ginny Kerslake, a pipeline affected resident speaking with Governor Wolf
I spoke with my friend Ginny after and this is what she said:
“Several residents had the chance to tell their stories of how Mariner East construction has impacted them and their neighbors and share their concerns for the safety of their families and communities, asking Governor Wolf to halt Mariner East.”
I also touched base with my friend Tom Casey who had this to say about this afternoon:
“I expected nothing less than what happened today. The Governor listened to impacted residents, but didn’t hear them. I have also never met a politician where you literally have to negotiate the terms of a handshake.”
I wonder what that certain East Goshen Supervisor was doing there? He is certainly not halting the march of Adelphia Gateway is he? BUT he sure do love his sound bytes right? Dude, if you wish to be a man of the people then you have to actually be a man of the people, ok?
And speaking of East Goshen what is with the two mass mailing a couple of days apart of Dear Occupant letters coming from SuNOco but says it is from East Goshen? It has to do with the 24 hour continual drilling and they will apparently pay for people to leave their homes while they do it? Sounds like quite the offer so what happens when no residents are around to bear witness?
I find today’s event to be a study in confusion and contradiction. So was it just supposed to be a lovey dovey photo op that went bad?
The first media article I am sharing is by Bill Rettew from The Daily Local with Pete Bannan photos. (And yes, I do pay for online subscriptions to the Daily Local, Philadelphia Inquirer, and The New York Times.)
Gov. Tom Wolf told anti-pipeline activists on Thursday that he is not going to stop construction or operation of Sunoco’s Mariner East pipelines.
At a rare face-to-face meeting with opponents at a pipeline construction site in East Goshen Township, Chester County, Wolf was repeatedly urged to shut down the pipeline until public safety can be assured.
But he disappointed activists by stating clearly that he would not do so.
Eve Miari, an organizer of the event, said Wolf’s statement was the first time he had gone on the record saying clearly that he would not shut down the line because of safety concerns…..Six people who live near the cross-state pipeline, plus a supervisor for East Goshen Township, took turns pressing that case to Wolf….“My question to you now, Governor Wolf, is will you halt Mariner East now?” Kerslake said. “We do not have a credible and practical plan to protect us in the event of a leak.”….Rosemary Fuller, a resident of nearby Middletown Township, said her private well has been contaminated with fecal coliform and e-coli as a result of the recent horizontal directional drilling near her house.
Fuller tearfully told Wolf that the contaminated water creates more problems for her husband, who has cancer, and her son, who has a compromised immune system.
Pennsylvania Politics is in full flower again. At the expense of residents. Bottom line? ANY politician that supports pipelines over people needs to GO and that includes the ones who never answer directly, don’t really return phone calls and play possum, and who act all supportive when it is most self-serving.
Of course Tom Wolf won’t shut down the pipelines.
Yes I am disgusted. Today at the end of the day was COMPLETE B.S.
On Sunday shortly before dinner time my cell phone exploded with text messages and calls. News of another sinkhole opening on Lisa Drive in West Whiteland.
Now a sinkhole opening up after heavy rains in our part of the county is not so unusual is it? Is it not true we are rife with sinkholes because of the geological formations under the ground? All that stuff about schist, karst, and what some describe as a veritable limestone fault line?
So why does it always seem like the pipeline companies don’t care about the actual geology of our area where they are shoving their pipes?
In addition to the geological life of it all underground (which is why there were so many mine and quarries, etc right?) we are an area with lots of old farm pits and whatever a lot of developers have buried at old construction sites of years past? Today most construction debris gets hauled away properly but in times past? Was a lot of debris removed or buried?
Anyway my point is in my opinion all these things add up to giving a lot of people the ability to have sinkholes on their property. My other point is neighbors and residents seem to be more aware and fearful of sinkholes, yet these pipeline companies seem to just move blithely forward don’t they?
So we have another sinkhole and I’m told it’s a property that Sunoco bought on Lisa Drive. The pipeline that was exposed was the old pipeline Mariner One. What makes all the difference in the world now in my opinion is how Sunoco proceeds and thus far is it anything that business as usual? Or the continuing saga of Chester county residents versus Sunoco?
Why do I say that? Hired muscle, thugs, security take your pick of describing people who reportedly called themselves constables. Does that mean they want people to think they are law-enforcement?
CHESTER CO., Pa. – Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan announced that after investigating a new sinkhole that opened up last weekend in Chester County, his office discovered that Sunoco hired constables from outside of Chester County to act as a private security force around the pipelines…According to a release from Hogan’s office, when the sinkhole appeared, citizens reported it and a plain clothes Chester County Detective approached the scene. When he arrived, an armed man flashed a badge and identified himself as a constable from Northumberland County.
When asked by the detective, the man admitted he had been hired as security by Sunoco, according to the release.
Is it just me or is that like welcome to Crazy Town?
I have had friends tell me of being in their own back yards and having the pipeline workers photograph and video them going about their everyday life. So they are allowed to do that yet if residents do the same they are criticized?
I have to ask if municipalities getting ready for other pipelines like Adelphia Gateway to come in are paying attention? Do they think realistically it’s going to be any different than what the residents dealing with Sunoco/Sunoco Logistics/Energy Transfer Partners experience every day?
Are we as residents of a county that played a huge part in the birthplace of our American freedoms supposed to just live in a factory town paid police state? Every time I hear one of the stories about the pipelines it reminds me of the tales of factory towns and factories and mining towns and mines where literally some company owned everything: where you worked, where your laid your head to rest each night, where you went to do your shopping and so on.
And when it comes to these pipelines what are we getting out of the deal? These are transport lines correct? So they are taking stuff taken out of the soil in other parts of the state and shipping them out of the area and overseas, correct? And for this privilege of living with this in our area what do we get? Oh yeah, things like experiencing eminent domain, declining property values, valid safety concerns, polluted drinking Wells, sinkholes, being harassed, and more?
Does Governor Tom Wolf give a damn? Does Attorney General Josh Shapiro give a damn? Do most local mucicipal reprsentatives in each township and counties give a damn?
Before I lived in Chester County, and even when I first moved to Chester County I thought people were being overly dramatic with regard to the pipelines. Because that’s what the PR spin doctors wanted me to think.
As I started to look beyond the spin and began to call some of the affected residents friends, and realized I already knew some of the affected residents, my perspective began to right itself towards the truth.
First I realized that if life had been different, we (as in my family) might be living in Marydell in West Chester with a pipeline now in the back yard. Then when I realized where we currently live is 1030 feet and 1060 feet from exisitng pipelines and where Adelphia Gateway wants to repurpose an old line like Sunoco-lite I really knew this was actually scary stuff.
And that knowledge has made realize we can’t really trust these pipeline companies can we? And that lack of trust extends to elected officials who do nothing to support the residents who elected them, doesn’t it?
As residents we are heavily scrutinized, perhaps even unfairly scrutinized because we are tired of the pipeline status quo. Is it just me or does it seem we as residents are held to a more stringent set of rules or a higher standard for wishing to protect where we call home and are raising our families?
That is why I am glad Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan is taking a hard look at what is going on. Maybe more officials will follow suit. One can only hope.
In the meantime, like thousands of others I live every day with grave concerns as to what the pipeline companies are doing. After all, we aren’t revolutionaries we just live here.
And I say eminent domain by private gain versus eminent domain for public purpose because the natural gas companies filing for PUC utility status in Pennsylvania is BOGUS. So BOGUS.
Because what they rape from the ground and ship across multiple counties doesn’t stay here does it? It is EXPORT, isn’t it? Like for plastics in Scotland? So where is the public benefit?
And let’s talk about the pipeline WORKERS. They are IMPORTS, right? Texas, Maryland, Oklahoma, etc as you can see from their license plates, correct? So these pipline companies are EXPORTING the gas and “other hydrocarbons” and IMPORTING workers from other places so any way you care to look at it, how can they say PUBLIC PURPOSE? It’s not. When they say that it is just P.R. swill, isn’t it?
People in Chester County not too far from me have had their land seized and properties devalued (because who in the hell wants to buy a house in a neighborhood after the pipelines have visited and sinkholes have opened up, wells have been polluted?)
In Berks and other counties homeowners have been subjected to the SAME heinous actions and now to add insult to injury, are being threatened with Mechanics Liens by subcontractors who were employed by the pipeline companies. That was why I wrote the post about it HERE.
Don’t believe me? An actual letter was shared with LancasterOnline and was published today. I screen shot it and blocked off the homeowner name and address:
So how about that? Crazy, right? Not only have these people had land siezed, the pipelines aren’t paying their subcontractors and they are being targeted instead of the pipeline companies who actually employed them? Merry freaking Christmas.
Fallout from the bankruptcy of Welded Construction, the main contractor in two local gas pipeline projects, has ensnared landowners in Berks and Lebanon counties with the threat of liens on their properties.
Lancaster County residents are wondering if they could be next.
Three homeowner couples and the Twin Valley School District near Morgantown, Berks County, were astounded to find legal letters in their mailboxes recently.
The letters were from United Piping Inc., a Minnesota-based subcontractor that says it has not been paid by Welded for work on the controversial Sunoco Mariner East natural gas liquids pipeline that runs through their properties.
United Piping was giving the property owners formal notice of the company’s intent to go to Berks County court within 30 days to file “mechanics liens” on their land….In Lebanon County, meanwhile, Dykon Blasting Corp. — an Oklahoma subcontractor that worked on the Atlantic Sunrise gas pipeline and says it has not been paid by Welded — has mailed similar legal letters to landowners….He said affected landowners can contact Williams for additional information by e-mail at AtlanticSunrise@Williams.com.
Oh and as this article was first being read by folks, I realized I had a nasty and somewhat menacing comment left on my other post:
This Grinch hails from Lancaster County. It took about two minutes to find out exactly where he lived and what other nasty bits of business he has posted on the Internet. Also discovered the proximity of local police to them.
So FYI to the Grinch, I retain all threatening comments. And law enforcement reads this blog on occasion. And not that it is any of his Grinch-y business BUT I actually don’t drive a big gas guzzling SUV.
And all the things that “modern free enterprise” give us does not start with the pipelines because none of it stays here. It’s EXPORT. They don’t even employ local for the most part, they INPORT from elsewhere.
The other thing is if the pipeline subs are owed money why aren’t they going to the gas companies for their money versus attacking the homeowners who have had their land stolen and properties devalued BY THE PIPELINE COMPANIES?
So Grinch, you want to be ignorant and threaten and not so subtly suggest I am a communist who should go to Cuba? Rock on with your bigoted self. Like I said, I have zero problem with letting law enforcement know about people who menace.
Now while we are dishing pipelines, let us pause for Adelphia Gateway. They are a comin’. There are in front of federal regulators and will be in Chester County municipalities like Westtown, East Goshen, West Goshen and East Whiteland and more.
On a brisk night in Bucks County, a group of retirees and young families unloaded on state officials their frustrations about natural-gas infrastructure.
“They say this pipeline is for the benefit of Pennsylvanians, but it is not. This line goes to Marcus Hook for export,” said Christine Shelly of West Rockhill Township. “Adelphia is looking to squeeze the last drops of a dying energy source out of the ground, oblivious to the cries of the people, who plead for protection as our air, ground and water become fouled.”…Adelphia Gateway LLC is proposing to convert a hybrid oil/natural gas pipeline to solely pump natural gas from a plant in Northampton County to a refinery in Marcus Hook, Delaware County. The company, a subsidiary of New Jersey Resources, bought the 84-mile pipeline from Talen Energy Co. last year for $189 million….
Adelphia did not send any representatives to the hearing, nor was it required to, according to Rebarchak. The company has said it’s working closely with township officials to create a facility that blends into the area “while delivering much-needed natural gas safely to its intended end users.”
During its air-quality review, DEP officials will weigh the residents’ comments — as well as any others submitted in writing before Dec. 14.
People before pipelines. It’s long past due. There are not any real safety plans in place and how well what is around would work as we saw in a Boston suburb within the past few months because when they blow (the situation in Boston was described by residents as “looking like Armageddon”) , they decimate everything in the explosion’s path. They are shoving these things through school properties, libraries, churches, farmers’ fields, and so on and so forth.
So do not tell any of us expressing valid concerns about these rape and pillage corporate greed projects is being anti-American. It doesn’t get anymore American than wishing to #DefendWhatYouLove
Thanks for stopping by. #NotOurPipelines
Photo taken by Chester County Resident and posted to Uwchlan Safety Coalition. Notice the child’s play area in someone’s backyard that the pipeline pipes are literally on top of.