Fringe blog highlights flawed report

The Middletown Township hired Accufacts in September to do a quantitative risk assessment on the Mariner East 2 Pipeline. According to The Delaware County Daily Times, the agreement followed a similar agreement in February with Quest Consultants, who were concurrently hired by the anti-pipeline group Middletown Coalition for Community Safety (MCCS) to complete an independent study. The piece detailed that “The contract was subsequently terminated due to a potential conflict of interest, as neither the firm nor the coalition made the township aware of the other study”.

The MCCS analysis pushed forth a false narrative of inflammatory, anti-infrastructure assertions, and has been used as a central talking point for anti-pipeline groups. Most recently, the fringe blogger “dragonpipe diary” touted the study as the “only quantitative risk analysis” of the Mariner East 2 pipeline. Not only does this assertion ignore the recent Accufacts and Econsult analyses, but it also slants the study as a case study that other townships should follow. According to Marcellus Drilling News,

“The Middletown Coalition was antsy, they didn’t want to wait for the town study to be completed, and they couldn’t risk a truly independent study finding the pipeline will be safe. So the Coalition moved ahead, no doubt using money from Big Green organizations to produce a report titled “Hazard Calculations for the Mariner East II Pipeline” (full copy below). The Coalition asked Quest Consultants, an Oklahoma-based firm, to evaluate what would happen IF a bunch of unlikely events were to happen. The report concludes: “IF the pipe were to rupture in Middletown Township, and IF the pipeline were operating at 1,500 psi while transporting ethane, and IF the release were oriented near to horizontal in the direction of the wind, and IF there are few obstructions to vapor cloud dispersion, and IF the weather conditions were 5 mph winds and stable atmosphere, the flammable vapor cloud could extend up to 1,800 feet from the pipeline.” The huge, gaping omission, the question the report does not address, is this: How likely is it that any or all of those things would actually happen? Our answer: near zero percent. In other words, the report just released by the Middletown Coalition proves that ME2 is safe!”

These fringe blog posts utilize flawed calculations to further pre-set opinions based on ideology rather than fact.