Chesco residents and officials meet to discuss Sunoco's pipeline plan

Chester County residents and local and state officials gathered Thursday in West Goshen to discuss how best to keep fighting Sunoco's plans to go around local zoning laws for its Mariner East pipeline project.

The project includes a pumping station near a residential area in the township.

The Chester County Community Coalition, which calls itself a grassroots movement to keep people informed about local issues, organized the meeting of about 70 people at the township building to share information and continue to gather public opposition to the project. The group formed in April in response to Sunoco's proposed pumping station at Route 202 and Boot Road.

"The fight goes beyond the facility," said Tom Casey, a member of the coalition. "It goes to the rights of everyone."

The station is part of Sunoco's plan to repurpose an 83-year-old refined-products pipeline to transport natural-gas liquids from the Marcellus Shale.

In March, Sunoco applied for public utility status with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. Such a status would make it exempt from local zoning and land-development laws in the municipalities across the state where it wants to build 18 pump stations and 17 valve stations.

Last month, Sunoco amended its application to propose delivering propane to Delaware County, which would strengthen Sunoco's argument that it is a Pennsylvania public utility.

State Sen. Andy Dinniman (D., Chester), Chester County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone, and State Rep. Dan Truitt (R., Chester) attended Thursday's community meeting, along with representatives from the Clean Air Council and the Pipeline Safety Coalition, to show solidarity with upset residents.

The coalition has raised about $5,000 in donations and has spent about $3,000 on attorney fees for representation before the PUC, as well as for compensation for experts to review information Sunoco gives to residents, yard signs, fliers, and other means of spreading its message.

610-313-8207 @MichaelleBond