The Dragonpipe (Mariner East 2 pipeline) is being built right through the heart of some densely-populated Philadelphia suburbs. For people who don’t deal with the pipeline construction every day, it may not be clear how many homes this affects and how close the pipeline runs to them.
As a reminder: this is a pipeline with a blast radius of over 1,000 feet in case of a leak. When a pipeline of the same size and carrying the same material exploded in West Virginia recently, it happened in an area where no one lived close by. Still, it blistered the paint on a house that was 2,000 feet away. If that same explosion had occurred in our suburbs, it could have destroyed hundreds of homes and killed hundreds of people.
Just how close is this pipeline to houses? Here’s a photo of a current pipeline construction location. It illustrates how the pipeline route runs right through the backyards of many homes in our suburbs.
And this is not an isolated instance. Homes this close to the pipeline are a very common occurrence throughout Chester and Delaware counties.
Chester County. To give you an idea of how many people could be affected, here are some aerial photos showing the pipeline route in Chester County. Every house you see here (and in the rest of the photos in this post) is in the blast zone. The red lines show the route of the Dragonpipe.
This is in the Marchwood area, north of Exton:
This is near the Chester County Library and the Exton Mall:
And this is the Exton Station area:
This is near the Giant supermarket in East Goshen. Besides all the houses, there is a shopping center, an assisted-living community, and a school right along the pipeline route in this area:
This is at the split between Boot Road and Rte. 352, with a big rental complex right by the route:
Delaware County. The situation in Delaware County is similar. In Middletown Township, a lot of attention has focused on the threat to Glenwood Elementary School, and rightly so. But Glenwood is in a residential area with many houses clustered in the area that the Dragonpipe runs through. Here are some of the Glenwood-area homes at risk:
Similarly, here are homes in Aston that are in the blast zone. Elwyn Institute runs a “sheltered workshop” for disabled adults right next to the route:
Do you want to see where the pipeline runs in relation to your home, school, business, or church? A good resource for that is the interactive map at www.marinereast2.com.
These homes, and many more, are at risk. All the homes you see in these photos are at risk of destruction in case of a leak. And in every case, Sunoco had total control over the planned routing of the pipeline (there is no regulation of pipeline routing in Pennsylvania). They found it convenient to choose a route through densely-populated areas, rather than nearby areas with fewer people.
If this pipeline goes through, sooner or later it will leak and people will be killed. It must be stopped!