Over the past six months, there has been a robust debate over whether to proceed with a proposed risk assessment of the Mariner East 2 pipeline in Delaware County. As reported in the The Philadelphia Inquirer yesterday, the County Council voted to reissue a proposal for the risk assessment, in spite of the fact that by many accounts, it is duplicative and costly.
One of the specialists cited in the story, Richard Kuprewicz, an independent pipeline safety expert, warned that risk assessments like the one being considered are “unscientific and technically flawed.” Instead, Kuprewicz suggests developing plans for responding to any potential incidents.
Kuprewicz’s statement underscores the futility of moving forward with such a risk assessment. Further, all of the factors that a risk assessment study conducted by the state would consider have already been accounted for throughout the existing regulatory process.
If the waste of state funds and duplication of effort is not reason enough to abandon the risk assessment, the Public Utility Commission has already stated that doing a risk assessment likely violates Pennsylvania law.
The fact remains, the existing regulatory system has proven successful and this project will be a boon to the people of Pennsylvania. Misinformation about safety and risk shouldn’t distract from economic windfall that Mariner East 2 will bring to the Keystone State.