Chesco seeks consultant to develop specialized pipeline hazard emergency plan

WEST CHESTER — At the request of the Chester County Commissioners, the Chester County Department of Emergency Services has prepared a Request for Proposal (RFP) to specialist contractors, for the development of a natural gas liquids (NGL) pipeline hazard-specific addition to the Chester County Emergency Operations Plan.  The RFP also calls for the development of tools to better prepare the public for a potential emergency arising from either the Energy Transfer Mariner East Pipeline or the Enterprise Products TEPPCO Pipeline.

The pipeline hazard-specific section, which will be of particular value to schools and other vulnerable population facilities, will also be developed and added to the emergency operations plans of the 12 Chester County municipalities in which the Energy Transfer and TEPPCO pipelines traverse.

“Chester County’s Emergency Services leadership and staff, along with the thousands of police, fire and emergency medical service personnel throughout the county, have comprehensive emergency operations plans that allow them to quickly respond to disasters, be they natural or man-made,” said Chester County Commissioners’ Chair Marian Moskowitz.

“But the product being carried through the Mariner East and TEPPCO pipelines present us with complex and unusual challenges, should there be leak, or worse.  That is why we are seeking a specialist perspective for this addition to our emergency plans.”

The County’s RFP asks respondents to follow the FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) planning process for the recommended emergency management actions necessary in the event of an incident along the Mainer East or TEPPCO pipelines.  The RFP also recommends that consideration be given to using the best practices of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s public emergency planning and preparedness for nuclear power plants.

Commissioner Josh Maxwell said, “Sunoco, a private sector company, has created a serious threat to our community, therefore we believe plans like this one being developed should become a requirement of the pipeline industry, and especially for Mariner East and TEPPCO.

“We expect the pipeline hazard annex that is developed for our emergency operation plans to include the best possible practices, so that we can provide assurance to families, schools, care facilities, community centers, places of worship, and companies along the pipeline routes that they will be notified of an incident immediately.”

In addition to the development of the pipeline hazard-specific annex, the successful contractor will provide a training program for emergency management staff and volunteers, elected officials and emergency responders.  Preparedness tools and workshops are also to be included to assist the public in being prepared in the event of a pipeline emergency.

“Having the best possible pipeline emergency plan in place for our first responder community is essential, but so too are procedures for our public to follow,” said Commissioner Michelle Kichline.  “Immediate notification is the first step.   The second is to know what to do, what to prepare, and to practice for every eventuality, whether at home, in school, at work, or running errands at the time of an incident.”

The successful RFP respondent will develop the annexes and public tools within four months of the contract start date.

The 12 Chester County municipalities in which the Mariner East and TEPPCO pipelines traverse are the Borough of Elverson, East and West Nantmeal Townships, Wallace Township, Warwick Township, Upper Uwchlan and Uwchlan Townships, West Whiteland Township, West Goshen and East Goshen Townships, Westtown Township and Thornbury Township.

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