Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Chester in the middle of the energy debate with trash and oil

The waste-to-energy behemoth in Chester that welcomes anyone’s trash and converts it to steam that runs turbines for electric production has found a new customer and needs to tweak a few things to make it easy to get their new fuel source to the incinerator. 

In order for that to happen, Chester City Council must say it’s okay. The city’s planning commission said it’s not okay earlier this month. Could we have a situation where two city agencies are at odds with each other? Based on reports that city council isn’t expected to vote on the new tweaks, it appears so. They probably need more time to study the proposal. We do a lot of studying in Chester.

Down the road, the Monroe Energy refinery has already met with 20 Chester folks to go over their plans to run an oil pipeline through the city to connect Eddystone with Trainer. Honestly, I don’t recall an announcement for the Chester meeting. I certainly didn’t get a press release to share with you. But, at least 20 people knew about it. I wonder what they concluded?

Personally, I prefer a 5-mile pipeline over a bunch of trains coming through town. Ideally, I’d rather see the pipeline go in the Delaware River as opposed to running under the city streets. Hopefully, someone will read this and shoot me the pipeline plans. I’ll be happy to share it with you all.

I find the following statements in today's confusing, but I'm easily confused...
Monroe Energy tonight will host the first of two meetings this week to seek public input and review their plans to build an underground pipeline to carry Bakken crude.The first meeting was held in Chester on June 26 and there were 20 people in attendance, he added.

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  1. I find it amazing how hard it is to see through this "TRANSPARENT" CITY government. ... they are always so quick to argue and be so very defensive whenever a citizen ask a question or brings up all that isn't being done or had been lost in this city. .... but when it comes to letting us know about the decisions that will affect the health or education of our children and ourselves suddenly silence, leaked to a few key pawns to make it seem as if we are not interested. ....I wonder if those 20 people dang the praises of anyone in city government at that meeting. ...ijs

  2. Last thing we need is one more dangerous project to fight in Chester, but let's look closer at this pipeline for a moment...

    The articles I've seen on this talk about this being Bakken crude that would arrive from North Dakota by train. The Bakken oil region is centered in North Dakota, and that crude oil is obtained through the highly destructive practice of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) -- same process as they use to destroy rural PA for natural gas. The company bringing this to Eddystone is Enbridge, better known as the oil spill company. A Wikipedia page compiles some of their horrid history of spills, including this lovely point: "Using data from Enbridge's own reports, the Polaris Institute calculated that 804 spills occurred on Enbridge pipelines between 1999 and 2010. These spills released approximately 161,475 barrels (25,672.5 m3) of crude oil into the environment." See

    Part of the problem with Bakken crude is that it's particularly dangerous to transport. "Safety is a major concern when shipping Bakken oil, which the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has found could be more flammable than other types of oil. The volatile nature of the oil makes shipping it by rail particularly dangerous, but there are still major concerns over transporting the oil by pipeline." Source:

    Does Chester City have any say in this? Do city officials plan to even research this? ...hopefully better than they've researched Covanta's trash-by-train plan so far? This issue of Bakken crude transport is becoming huge for many communities, especially where they have already been pipeline spills and train derailments. Let's not forget that such a train derailed in Philadelphia just earlier this year, and thankfully didn't spill or explode like has happened more recently in Lynchburg, VA: That same CSX line goes through Chester. See: That means, depending on the route, Chester might be getting the pipeline AND the oil trains (increasingly being called "bomb trains" by those concerned about how often they blow up).

    1. You don't really think there's going to be a fight, do you? Maybe when they start tearing up Rt291 will folks get mildly annoyed and ask what's going on. Until then, naw!

      Your comments make me wonder if a pipeline is the better of the two methods of transport. Hopefully, with only 5 mile of pipe, each inch will be throughly inspected as opposed to those cross country pipelines that get checked here & there. No chance of that pipe going in the river, huh?

    2. Wondering...if they can bring oil tankers from Nigeria, isn't there a vessel that can carry oil 5 miles?