not our pipeline

Pipeline and sinkhole. Just The Fact Please photo. November, 2017

Before I moved to Chester County, I was somewhat ambivalent about Sunoco and their pipelines. Among other things, I grew up with a father who was for years, in-house PR for a then major oil company.  And part of that was during the Exxon Valdez era.  But oil companies had deep pockets and what did I know? Nothing was near where we lived and those oil company deep pockets were always giving box loads of stuff to schools, bought full page ads in school newspapers for the kids of employees, etcetera.

When you first hear about problems with pipelines, pipeline construction, or even fracking, it is like this fuzzy thing out of focus ahead of you in the haze. It can’t possibly affect you. Until it does. And in my opinion, it is.   I have friends who hail from Western Pennsylvania who literally have been warning people for years.  And they are just nastily labeled “fracktivists”. Guess that is the new label for “concerned citizen”? Because I have got to tell you, the people I knew who once lived in Western PA are…wait for it…MOMS.  You know how dangerous moms are, right?

Then it seems like in an instant but a couple miles in either direction from where you live as far as the crown flies in any direction, stuff starts to happen.

Well issues.

Sinkholes.

You feel like local municipal officials and politicians are just covering their ears saying “na,na,na,na,na,na,na,na,na” in order to NOT have to listen to residents.  Respected environmental activists are labeled as being alarmists.

Then all of a sudden the  PA DEP seems to wake up and temporarily halts work on Sunoco’s Mariner 2 Pipeline.  Only as per residents in some affected Chester County neighborhoods and State Impact by NPR  that might not quite be true as they report on January 9, 2018:

When Danielle Otten woke up Monday morning, she didn’t expect to see men working on the Mariner East 2 pipeline construction site that sits about 40 feet from her backyard, along Devon Drive in Uwchlan Township, Chester County.

For one thing, work in the area had stalled after drilling dried up and damaged nearby water wells this past summer. And just last week, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection issued a court order halting construction along the 350-mile long pipeline after Sunoco/Energy Transfer Partners continued to violate its permits, causing damage to private water wells, streams and wetlands…..When DEP issued a stop work order to Sunoco last week, it appeared that all work would halt aside from drilling and erosion controls that had to be continued in order to prevent additional environmental damage. But a spokesman for the DEP now tells StateImpact that when it comes to anything other than earth disturbance or water crossings, the agency doesn’t have jurisdiction.

 

In Chester County, as a resident, you can’t avoid the truth of the pipelines. And the risks and dangers. So many of us are on wells. And so many with wells are already having issues. And then there are those other pesky things…you know like sinkholes and so on?

The jarring visuals you see with your own eyes like the beautiful swaths of lands torn assunder are burned into your brain.  Once you see it, you can’t un-see it and you wish you could.

Swing sets and play houses of small children sit in macabre juxtaposition to giant earth moving machines and huge pieces of pipe.

Giant walls, pipes, and earth moving machines also sit across the driveway from senior citizen apartment complexes and grocery stores.

Pipeline so close and on top of churches and schools in addition to residential neighborhoods and please, tell me, how is that safe?

Next to firehouses too? So basically, Sunoco puts those supposed to protect us at risk as well?

You have friends and former neighbors who have Sunoco gobbling up their land for the pipeline.  You count your blessing like we did that we moved long ago from certain parts of Chester County because otherwise this view could be your very own backyard:

Uwchlan Safety Coalition photo

Only you can’t help but wonder if your slice of heaven will remain unmolested by pipelines? Like Medieval Feudal Lords, you are never quite sure what they will swoop in and take, are you?

You are, as residents of Chester County and elsewhere, supposed to bend over and accept these new vistas:

My photo, taken July, 2017

When you say “no I think this is bad” there are people who will  jump all over you. “It’s perfectly safe. You don’t know what you are talking about.”

Perfectly safe? Is that why CBS This Morning ran and over FIVE minute segment on the national news this morning from coast to coast?

Sunoco is raping our land. They are depleting it, irrevocably changing it and in my opinion putting us all at risk.  It is not OUR pipeline, it is THEIR pipeline being forced upon us all and we are not benefiting from it.  This isn’t OUR infrastructure, it’s Sunoco’s infrastructure. What they take is being shipped OVERSEAS.

As another friend Ginny said to others:

Sunoco cannot replace the large, mature trees they are chopping down for this. Nor can they restore the fragile and important wetland there if they wreck it, just as they couldn’t restore the private wells that they wrecked in Marchwood this summer with this pipeline. 

Living with hazardous liquefied natural gas lines is not a part of living in suburbia. In fact it is reckless to put these lines through densely populated areas, right alongside houses, schools, apartment buildings, shopping centers, seniors homes, etc. 

And now, Sunoco also wants Chester County Library’s freaking lawn? (See Dragon Pipe Diary)

When does it stop?  When did Corporate America’s rights become more meaningful than ours in Chester and Delaware Counties and elsewhere in Pennsylvania?  Why are we as residents being forced to live with something that destroys and takes and give nothing back in return? Why don’t residents matter? Why do we spend so much time feeling like our elected officials have forsaken us on this issue?

And why is it when you mention anything about not liking or distrusting pipelines some fool will always hop up and cry foul partisan politics? I mean do they really think we are such imbeciles that an issue which is non-partisan and affects EVERYONE is an example of partisan politics?  Take off the dunce caps, because opposition to Mariner East is clearly bi-partisan.

Pipeline, East Goshen. My photo. Summer/Fall 2017

Today in addition to the CBS News report, Del-Chesco United for Pipeline Safety is a nonpartisan, fact-based, grassroots coalition of locally-based safety groups, made up of concerned Pennsylvanians from across our Commonwealth issued a press release:

Well guess what? I believe these folks, and this pipeline and it’s march across Chester County and elsewhere terrifies me.  These people protesting are our neighbors and friends. And there are quite the growing numbers of experts, environmentalists and others who believe these residents.

There is also a very important petition circling. It is directed at our rather elusive Governor Tom Wolf on Change.org asking him to protect our communities under the PA Health and Safety Statute.

Please sign and share this petition today.

Here are some articles:

Dragonpipe Diary: Sunoco’s destructive plans for the Chester County Library lawn

State Impact PA Despite DEP order to halt Mariner East 2 construction, some work is still allowedJANUARY 9, 2018 | 5:34 PM Susan Phillips

State Impact: Water problems persist along Mariner East pipeline route despite court interventionOCTOBER 12, 2017 | 5:03 PM BY JON HURDLE

State Impact: DEP issues violation to Sunoco for another spill of drilling fluidAUGUST 30, 2017 | 6:40 PM BY JON HURDLE

grist: BRIEFLY Stuff that matters PIPE DOWN

Daily Local: Pennsylvania DEP shuts down construction on Sunoco gas pipeline By Bill Rettew, brettew@dailylocal,com POSTED: 01/03/18, 5:25 PM EST

Daily Local: DEP accuses Sunoco of unauthorized drilling By Bill Rettew, brettew@dailylocal.com POSTED: 01/02/18, 3:49 PM EST

Daily Times, Phil Heron: Editorial: Economic benefits alone won’t resolve pipeline concerns

Look at the end of the day, did we come to Chester County for this view below? I don’t think so. We need to protect what is ours.  And what is ours, is not necessarily theirs.

#Resist

Uwchlan Safety Coalition Photo

oh those golden rams!

Photo borrowed from WCU Incomparable Golden Rams Marching Band Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/GoldenRamBand/

Photo borrowed from WCU Incomparable Golden Rams Marching Band Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/GoldenRamBand/

Ok how cool is this? West Chester University’s Incomparable Golden Rams Marching Band has been chosen to be one the marching bands in the….wait for it…Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. THAT is just cool!

The magic time is 11:44 AM, when they hit the reviewing stand and will be ON TV. As in NBC10 locally. NBC airs the parade nationwide.

Total performance time that we’ll see is about 1 minute 15 seconds.

See it or not.  Don’t blink.

I love the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and this is a Chester County marching band! I know no one in this band but am just plain excited for them!  What an honor! According to Macy’s they were last in the parade in 1986.

Last updated: Tuesday, November 24, 2015, 1:08 AM

Sparkling blue flags waved and 600 feet stepped in time as the West Chester University marching band sent a holiday tune into the darkening November sky.

With drums and flutes, trumpets and clarinets, the students last week turned a campus blacktop into the winter wonderland they hope to create near New York City’s Herald Square on Thursday.

That’s when the college musicians will have 75 seconds to dazzle tens of millions of viewers with “Winter Wonderland.”

The band is one of 10 high school and college bands nationwide selected to perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which typically generates huge television ratings and draws thousands to New York’s streets….”I’ve been watching the Macy’s parade since I was little,” said drum major Jacqueline Cotto, a fifth-year music education and performance major from New York City who joined her first marching band in eighth grade. “I always wanted to march in it. That was always a dream.”

 

The Incomparable Golden Rams played in the Thanksgiving spectacle once before, in 1986. This year, WCU is sending the only group from Pennsylvania.

The band plans to play popular tunes as it marches during the three-hour parade. When band members reach 34th Street, the Macy’s building, and NBC’s cameras, they will break into “Winter Wonderland.” ….The band is scheduled to rehearse once on the site before the parade – at 4:30 a.m. Thursday. Hours later will come the moment Ross and Platt said they were most looking forward to. They are due to arrive at 34th Street at 11:44 a.m. to perform before millions….

 

 

Ok, seriously? How can you NOT be SO excited for them????

CBS Philly: Local University Marching Band To Perform In Macy’s Parade

 

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A local university’s marching band is set to perform this Thursday in New York at one of the season’s most beloved parades.

 

Out of 138 colleges that applied, the West Chester University Incomparable Golden Rams Marching Band was one just of four selected to perform at this year’s Macy’s thanksgiving day parade.

paris, oh paris

 

There is that moment when….. one of your dearest and closest friends texts you a photo….from PARIS.

As in the city which has just been a victim of terrorist attacks…The city of lights….Paris.

My exact text back to her was “For the love of Christ don’t tell me you are in Paris now??”

And she messaged back “Yes…can you freaking believe it?!!!”

These are the little things you don’t think of – you know a friend is going away on vacation but you forget where.

I have friends who call France home, so when the news broke of those attacks last week I really felt my heart in my throat.

Then I had a conversation with another dear friend this morning who said she might be taking a break from social media because people pounced all over her because she commented on Paris but neglected to mention Lebanon and Africa and wherever else there had been terrorist attacks also last week.

OK really???? That how you’re going to judge a person’s worthiness because they forget to remember other horrific events which occurred across the globe last week on Facebook???

And as far as the tourism goes in Paris, I am really sick of these attacks no matter where they occur. It is so awful that people are committing these acts in the name of one religion and culture against people who are other religions and cultures.  Why are we fighting medieval religious wars in the modern era?

 

This is the other photo my friend sent this morning.  It was a moment of silence at noon today Paris time and all French came outside. 

My friend said is all the French want to talk about it. They will say things to Americans like “this is how you must’ve felt after 9/11”. She also remarked how remarkably gracious the Parisians are two visitors in their city even at a time like this.

My friend says the sites are shut down in Paris but restaurants and cafés are open. She said wherever you go your bag is checked and they actually feel quite safe.

What a crazy world we live in. I can’t wait for my friend to get home…. Not that this craziness can’t happen anywhere and I think that’s part of the problem. But as my friend points out with her photo, we need to keep on living.

To my “American(s) in Paris” , safe travels and see you soon.

Paris, je t’aime.