Barrar and Committees Consider Effects of Possible Pipelines
HARRISBURG – Rep. Steve Barrar (R-Chester/Delaware) and other members of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness committees learned about emergency preparedness and response measures for the Commonwealth’s natural gas/petroleum pipeline infrastructure during a joint informational hearing.

The hearing centered on what is being done, as well as what else can be done, to prevent incidents. Joe McGinn of Sunoco Logistics shared that more than 147,000 safety brochures were sent to stakeholders groups – including neighbors and emergency responders, as well as construction and excavation companies – this year. Sunoco also hosted annual training during which third party consultants provided information about pipeline awareness and emergency response.

“Few people are aware that Sunoco transports approximately 16 billion barrels of crude oil and petroleum products via liquid pipelines every year at a safety rate of 99.99 percent,” McGinn said. “Our company and employees are committed to our safety mission of doing what is right, without compromise.”

A representative of Steamfitters Local 420 highlighted the extensive training unionized steamfitters, who install and service systems requiring piping, receive during a five-year working apprenticeship.

“One thing we can all agree on is the importance of having people who are well-trained. These workers are on the front lines of community safety, and I commend their dedication to safety,” Barrar said.

Andrew Place of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission suggested that all pipeline operators be required to map their pipeline systems and participate in the Pennsylvania One Call System to enhance the safety of communities, construction workers, utility crews and emergency responders. Pennsylvania One Call works to inform people where they can dig without damaging underground facilities.

A potential benefit of installing a pipeline in areas without high-speed internet would be the possible partnership between the gas companies and the cable and/or internet providers, allowing them to split the cost of having to run cable. Smaller towns would be able to gain access to services that were believed to be unavailable for the foreseeable future.

Commonwealth residents opposing pipelines spoke of possible gas leaks and explosions. They told the harrowing tale of a massive explosion that occurred in Salem, Pa., in April. The fire resulting from the explosion burned 40 acres of land. Roads were closed, and homes were damaged. People suffered health issues.
“I thank the men and women who took the time to join us for this important hearing, which will help the Legislature weigh the concerns and potential benefits of pipelines,” Barrar said. “Safety of all Pennsylvanians is our paramount concern and will drive our actions.”

Representative Stephen E. Barrar
160th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Alison Evans
717.260.6206 /

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