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Springfield to apply for grant for threat analysis of potential pipeline disaster threat


Springfield will apply for federal funding to better prepare the township for a potential pipeline disaster.

Supervisors authorized the township manager to apply for a $50,000 grant for a threat analysis of the area, part of which is vulnerable to land subsidence or sinkholes because of its karst and limestone geology. In January, two sinkholes led to a three-month closure of the controversial Mariner East 1 pipeline in Chester County but did not rupture it.

Three pipelines crisscross the township. The two natural gas pipelines are operated by Columbia and Interstate; the other, operated by Buckeye, is liquid petroleum. The Interstate-owned line, which Adelphia Gateway wants to

use to transport gas to the Philadelphia area, has drawn particular scrutiny because of its proximity to Springtown, and because it crosses a protected watershed, the Cooks Creek.

Two supervisors, Tony Matzura and Robert Zisko voted against the motion. Zisko pointed out the pipelines has been there for decades without incident, but Supervisor Karen Bedics replied that it was in the public interest to try to get the funding. “We are getting more specialized data that’s specific to our area.”

Once the township receives the results of the study back, it would update its emergency services.

Chairman Dave Long, who cast a reluctant vote for the study, said he supported it as long as “it’s not duplicating something we already have.” Long and Supervisor Jim Nilsen agreed that that the data would be helpful to first responders.

“This is going to be waste of Mike’s time,” concluded Zisko following the 3-2 vote. Mike Brown is the zoning officer.

In other business, the board approved $49,000 for a new police vehicle, which is expected to be ready to go by the summer. Zoning officer, Brown, will utilize the old vehicle, a Tahoe, which has 120,000 miles on it. Supervisors also finally settled on a local vendor, 110 Front, to revamp the township’s website at a cost of $9,000, with a maintenance fee of $1,000 for the first quarter. The township will then evaluate the work done and could potentially drop the provider.

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