Rafferty Calls for Stronger Laws, More State Oversight to Ensure Pipeline Safety

At a joint hearing today on pipeline safety in Pennsylvania by the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee and the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, Senator John C. Rafferty, Jr. (R-44) raised major concerns regarding the mismanagement and misconduct by Sunoco Pipeline’s executives, stressing that stronger laws and more state oversight are needed for the safety and well-being of people and their private property. 

Rafferty urged members of the committees to move quickly on a bipartisan package of bills he introduced that would centralize pipeline safety inspection within the Commonwealth, establish notification requirements to residents, mandate pre-construction hydrological studies and implement other safeguards to improve pipeline management. 

“The sheer volume of permit and environmental violations along this 306-mile stretch of pipeline has led to numerous lawsuits, spoiled wells, sinkholes and polluted waterways,” Rafferty said.  “Sunoco Pipeline’s seemingly wanton disregard for the safety of our constituents living in these communities demonstrates their inability to appropriately manage the laws, regulations, permits and logistics associated with their pipeline projects.”

Rafferty noted that other pipeline operators have received little or no landowner complaints and environmental violations.  He also pointed to a lack of transparency and communication by Sunoco Pipeline’s executives that has jeopardized the security of families, schools and property.  Other testifiers, including Rebecca Britton of the Uwchlan Safety Coalition, shared similar concerns and stressed the importance for swift legislative action.

“If this Administration, the Commonwealth agencies and the Sunoco Pipeline continue to undermine safety, additional corrective legislation will be launched for the safety and well-being of our communities across the state,” Rafferty concluded.

The above-mentioned bills and other pipeline resources are available at a new website, www.SenatorRafferty.com/pipeline, dedicated to pipeline oversight and management.

CONTACT:  Nolan Ritchie, 717-787-1398