Shamona Creek flash-fire area 11-12-18
“Flash fire” area from a rupture at the valve site at Shamona Creek Elementary School. See text and the accompanying slides for details.

Last night (November 12, 2018), Caroline Hughes and I had the privilege of presenting information about the Citizens’ Risk Assessment (conducted by Quest Consultants) and the associated Canary software to the Uwchlan Township Board of Supervisors. Uwchlan was one of the townships that helped pay for the risk assessment. Caroline summarized the Quest report, making the case that the dangers of the Mariner East system are even more serious than we had previously realized, with the potential for deaths more than 2,000 feet from the pipeline and with the likelihood of a leak somewhere across the state every 2-3 years.

Following that, I described additional work I had done with the Canary software concerning the degree of hazard from a potential rupture of the 12-inch “bypass” pipeline in the vicinity of Shamona Creek Elementary School. Sunoco’s plan to bypass the incomplete parts of Mariner East 2 using an old, repurposed 12-inch pipeline was announced too late to be part of Quest’s risk assessment report, but the Canary software gave us the tool we needed to make our own assessment.

Our slides can be found here:

Uwchlan QRA Presentation

We were followed by a presentation by Dan Daley of E. B. Walsh and Associates, in his role as Township Engineer. He showed his company’s excellent work (much of it done by Ashley Hickman, an engineer who took Quest’s training course on the Canary software), analyzing a number of variables that Sunoco might be able to adjust to reduce the area affected by a leak or rupture. These included the time it would take to shut down the flow in the pipeline, reducing the pressure in the pipeline, and changing the rate of flow. Changes like these could have some benefit, but Daley’s data showed that the benefit would be very limited—and it remains to be seen if Sunoco is even willing to consider making any changes.

The slides attached here show the results of my work related to the extent of the potential hazard at Shamona Creek, but they don’t tell much about the details of how the work was done. However, the process was nearly the same as the analysis I did at Glenwood Elementary School, so please refer to that blog post if you are curious.