County launches online communication pipeline

Web site to provide up-to-date information on pipeline locations, projects

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 10.52.04 PMWEST CHESTER – The lines of communication are just as important as the pipelines that traverse area landscapes, a reality that prompted the Chester County Commissioners to launch a web site dedicated to pipeline communication.

The site, which will give county residents, municipalities and pipeline operators up-to-date information on pipeline locations and proposed projects in Chester County, is called the Pipeline Information Center (PIC) and can be found, a county news release said.

“It is important that we, as a county, help to provide pipeline information to our residents, for public safety and environmental concerns, as well as other communication needs,” said Chester County Commissioners’ Chairman Ryan Costello.  “We have no control over pipeline activity, but this investment reflects our proactive step to be an information resource that protects and assists communities across Chester County.”

Commissioner Kathi Cozzone agreed. “Government at the state, county and local level does not have the authority to regulate pipelines, but we do have the desire to advise and possibly influence pipeline expansion,” said Cozzone. “What we also have, through the expertise of our Planning Commission, is the ability to establish a web presence that provides mapping and other resources to give a better understanding of pipelines and their regulation.”

The creation of the Pipeline Information Center web site is the result of nearly a year of research, data-gathering and stakeholder input gleaned from public meetings, undertaken as part of the Pipeline Notification Protocolled by the Pipeline Safety Coalition, with support from Chester County Government and East Brandywine Township. The Pipeline Notification Protocol was funded by a U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration Technical Assistance Grant, the release said.

“With the increase in pipeline activity, it was recognized that there was a need to develop a communications strategy and a resource for information,” said Commissioner Terence Farrell.  “The protocol established by this web site, created in Chester County and initially used by Chester County, may provide a template to be used throughout the state, and ultimately nationally.”

Features of the Pipeline Information Center web site include:

  • A map showing pipeline corridors with details of how to contact pipeline companies with non-emergency questions
  • Pipeline safety information
  • Contact information for all pipeline operators in the area, as well as agencies that regulate pipelines, and county agencies that play a role in the pipeline process.

Phase 2 of the web site, expected later this year, will include registration capabilities for all pipeline companies, to allow access to land-use planning documents and to communicate proposed pipeline plans.

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