News of a small sinkhole in West Whiteland Township in Chester County has captured the attention of local residents and media throughout southeast Pennsylvania though mostly as an opportunity to disparage the Mariner East 1 and 2 projects.
In an article titled “Another sinkhole appears in Chester County neighborhood, exposing Mariner East pipeline” The Inquirer incorporated a number of perspectives for insight, though some sources seem more questionable than others.
Energy Transfer, the parent company for Mariner East 1 and 2, released the following statement that was circulated in the article “We are working in coordination with the Pennsylvania PUC’s Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement and its consultants to perform activities to ensure the area remains stable. It is too early to know additional details at this time.”
Additionally the Bureau of Investigation concluded that “No injuries were reported, no one was evacuated, public safety was not affected, and the pipeline was not damaged,”
Eric Friedman, spokesman for local pipeline opposition group Del – Chesco United for Pipeline Safety, was quoted calling the land’s geological makeup “unstable.” Friedman mistakenly conflates “topography” and “geology,” specifically the “karst topography” that exists in Southeast Pennsylvania.
A layman passing as technical experts as Mr. Friedman continually does, are not credible sources of information. Mr. Friedman’s preference is more to muddy the water and spread faulty information, which does the community a disservice. Public safety is the top priority of infrastructure developers, regulators, and local communities alike and always will be.