To get action, sometimes Mariner East protests are helpful – Daily Local

I like to kayak, and photograph nature. I don’t like to protest. I’m not a rabble-rouser who enjoys stirring things up. Yet, I protest. I protest the Mariner East Pipeline.

In my neighborhood, Energy Transfer came through after promising us we’d never know they were here. They set up equipment, clogged streets, tore up lawns, and knocked over mailboxes.

Just up the road, on Lisa Dr., ET forced 5 families from their homes. Giant sink holes risked property and lives, as the ground subsided around active pipelines carrying explosive gases. We were afraid. We protested.

Then, in my neighborhood, sinkholes opened up. ET set up fences to keep the public from seeing into their own backyards. One neighbor set up a camera to see over the fence. ET built the fence higher. The neighbor raised the camera. ET raised the fence. Eventually, the fence reached a height of 18 feet. The jury-rigged fence collapsed, thankfully avoiding the children who play there. We were angry and frightened. We protested.

ET’s bore pit filled like a swimming pool as they struggled to get through our wetlands. To solve that problem, for months they pumped up to a million gallons of water from the ground daily. With the water, came tons of sediment. We discovered water choked with brown sediment pouring into the local trout stream. We protested.

Standing on ladders, we saw sinkholes in the wetlands being filled with grout. The Valley Creek stream bed opened and water flowed furiously into sinkholes. ET fought to stop it with more grout. We documented each incident. We contacted the DEP, alerting them to illegal grouting in wetlands and streams. No one acted. We protested.

The wetlands was a huge challenge. ET kept trying different techniques and running into obstacles. They created 13 sinkholes. It took them 7 months to install 300 ft. of pipe. Poor planning left ET far to the right and many feet below the point where they’d hoped to connect to pipes on the other side of the stream. Like a giant mouse trap game, they had to use elbows and pieces to complete this section. The integrity of the pipe may be compromised. We protested.

ET spilled over 20,000 gallons of bentonite and secret proprietary ingredients into Marsh Creek. A large arm of the lake is still coated in their sludge. We protested.

What is left behind after the horrors of construction have ended? A bomb beneath our feet. There’s no emergency plan for escape, besides run half a mile, upwind, on foot. ET has the worst safety record and in 2018 had a pipeline explode just 7 days into operation. We protest because we fear for our safety.

ET has accrued 126 notices of violation from the DEP. The AG, Josh Shapiro, charged them with 48 crimes and one felony. We don’t have any faith in Energy Transfer. We met our Attorney General at the lake and we protested.

Suzanne Walker, a Tennessee pipeliner, wrote an editorial on 2/12/22 criticizing the protesters and touting all that ET has brought to PA. She never mentions that ethane shipped overseas to make plastic won’t provide “affordable, steady energy sources”. She praises ET for jobs created, failing to mention that many workers arrive at the job in trucks bearing Texas plates. Despite 49 charges and 126 violations, she applauds the pipeline for “stringent environmental precautions” and “meeting or exceeding regulatory requirements”.

We are ordinary citizens.

We protest because we refuse to be steamrolled by an out of state corporation wreaking havoc on our community. We are so tired of protesting.

Libby Madarasz

West Whiteland

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