More Risk from Falling Downstairs Than Delaware County Pipelines

delaware riverkeeper - Jim Willis reportsJim Willis
Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)


Mariner East and Adelphia opponents were counting on a study to show the risks of Delaware County pipelines but the results showed they were very very small.

Well this wasn’t supposed to happen.

The Delaware County Council (Pennsylvania) hired a company in July of this year at a cost of $115,000 to conduct an independent risk assessment study of both the Mariner East 2 (ME2) and Adelphia Gateway pipeline projects (both running through Delaware County). The purpose was to assess just how much risk each pipeline poses to residents in the county, a heavily populated Philadelphia suburb.

A group of antis paid $50,000 to Quest Consultants for the same thing. The antis released their “report” in October. Perhaps the antis sensed that the forthcoming independent report wouldn’t paint the same wild, nightmare scenario their fake report paints.

And, right they were. The Council’s study, paid for with taxpayer money and just released, finds residents of Delaware County stand a far better chance of dying from falling down a flight of stairs, a house fire, or a car accident than they do from an explosion from either ME2 or Adelphia.

Here’s some of what the Delaware County Times says (emphasis added):

On Wednesday, Delaware County Emergency Services Director Timothy Boyce submitted the G-2 Integrated Services’ 79-page report “Mariner East 2 Pipeline and Existing Adelphia Pipeline Risk Assessments” to Delaware County Council…

In fact, the report stated that a person is 20 times more like to die from a traffic accident or fall from stairs and 35 times more likely to die from a house fire than from an incident involving the Mariner East 2 pipeline 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

G-2 was asked to do a risk assessment of an accidental release of either the Mariner East 2 or the Adelphia pipelines within Delaware County. Two things they set out to determine were the risk of fatalities in relation to distance from the pipelines and how that risk compares to other common risk sources. The fatality risk was a measure of the likelihood of an individual dying from an accident within the period of a year.

Stretching from Ohio and the Pittsburgh area to Marcus Hook, Mariner East 2 is a 306-mile pipeline that will carry 275,000 barrels per day of natural gas liquids, primarily propane, but butane as well. About 11.4 miles of the 20-inch natural gas liquid pipeline is in Delaware County. These materials will be used both domestically and internationally and the line is almost complete.

Adelphia is an 84-mile 18-inch natural gas pipeline that was originally used to transport oil from Marcus Hook to Martins Creek, Pa. According to the report, the northern 34 miles were converted to natural gas in 1996 and the remaining 50 miles are planned to be converted as well. Twelve miles of the Adelphia line are in Delaware County.

G-2 evaluated releases and accidents such as jet fires, flash fires and vapor cloud explosions potentially related to the two pipelines within the Delaware County boundaries…

The five accident consequences studied included discharge rate; ignition; jet fire thermal radiation; flash fire thermal radiation; and vapor cloud explosion overpressure…

Fatalities resulting from these incidents are reliant on various factors including radiation level and exposure time.

G-2 also evaluated the probable frequency of such events by using data from Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration for pipelines with natural gas and ones with highly volatile liquids.

In looking at 2002 to 2017, the PHMSA found that 212 below ground incidents occurred over almost 4.9 million mile-years of line. Of those 128 incidents occurred over that time period with pipelines bigger than 10 inches wide through 28 inches.

In the same report, PHMSA data indicated that 28 incidents occurred in 972,000 mile-years of highly volatile liquid pipelines between 2002 and 2018.

County officials are working with the experts to present the findings of this report at a meeting in the next few weeks.

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