A guest post by “Valley Voice”

The 12-inch Point Breeze to Montello pipeline that Sunoco plans to use to bypass unfinished sections of ME2 appears to be in trouble … again.  As a local resident was driving along Valley Road in Edgmont Township on Friday morning, October 5, she noticed a large section of exposed pipe that Sunoco was working on.  Both PennDot and Catherine Ricardo, the Manager of Edgmont Township, confirmed that the pipe was undergoing “integrity maintenance” after Sunoco had run a pig  through the pipe and discovered some issues.  Ricardo also confirmed that the pipe had recently undergone hydrostatic testing.  Details of the current repairs were not given.

exposed pipe, valley road & 352 10-7-18
Exposed 12-inch pipeline, Valley Road and Route 352. Photo: Karen Katz.

Several Middletown Township residents have already voiced their concern about Sunoco “temporarily” using a pipe that was built in the 1930’s and used to transport gasoline at a pressure much lower than the intended NGL’s it will now be expected to transport.  The old pipe has leaked hazardous liquids four times; West Whiteland in 1987, Edgmont (Valley Road) in 1988, the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum in 2000 and, again, in Darby Creek in June of this year.

Although Lisa Dillinger, a spokeswoman for Sunoco’s parent company, Energy Transfer Partners, stated that this line has been “inspected with in-line tools and hydrotested”, details of repairs are not available. Presumably, the testing showed that the pipeline had problems, and that is what Sunoco is now attempting to correct.  The residents of Edgmont and Middletown Townships are anxious. Sunoco needs to be specific and transparent about the state of its pipelines to allay fears.  Simply stating that the pipe meets regulatory requirements is not enough, as we have seen today.

Bottom line: Sunoco is putting our lives at risk by putting highly volatile NGL’s through an 87-year old pipeline that was intended to carry gasoline at a much lower pressure. The re-purposing puts us at risk. The pipe obviously needs repairs.  Are we prepared to accept this?

Let your local officials, your representatives in Harrisburg, and the PUC know that Sunoco must be prevented from using this unsafe pipeline for high-pressure, highly-volatile liquids.