What a busy and eventful first week of 2018!

So much has happened this week in the news. (Summarizing key events in our our backyard):

  1. Women rule the day at Chester County row office
  2. Pennsylvania DEP Shuts Down Sunoco Pipeline Construction (For now)
  3. Record breaking cold weather and the Nor’easter.

On Wednesday, January 3rd, four Democrats, all women — Patricia Maisano as Treasurer, Margaret Reif as Controller, Yolanda Van De Krol as Clerk of Courts, and Dr. Christina Vandepol as Coroner — were sworn in as new Chester County row officers during ceremonies held at West Chester University. Looks like it is the end of the “good old boys club” and the beginning of a new era for Chester County politics. What will this mean for the future of the Republican party in the County? What other changes will residents of Chester County see in the near future? Without a doubt, this week, the women, and the Democrats, rule the day in Chester County.

On the same day, at around 11:30 am, the Pennsylvania State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) suspended Mariner East 2 construction permits and ordered all operations on the Mariner East II pipeline be stopped immediately until the pipeline developer, Sunoco, can demonstrate that the permit conditions can and will be followed. In the news release, the DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell, stated, “We are living up to our promise to hold this project accountable to the strong protections in the permits.”

For those fighting the pipeline construction, this is huge welcomed news.

Del-Chesco United for Pipeline Safety
Goshen United for Public Safety
West Whiteland Residents for Pipeline Safety
Uwchlan Safety Coalition
Pipeline Safety Coalition
East Goshen Safety & Environmental Advocates
Clean Air Council
Sierra Club Pennsylvania
Delaware Riverkeeper Network
Food and Water Watch

The full order can be found here: http://files.dep.state.pa.us/ProgramIntegration/PA%20Pipeline%20Portal/MarinerEastII/OrderSuspendingConstructionActivities010318.pdf

A list of the Notices of Violations issued to Sunoco for Mariner East 2 can be found on the DEP website: http://www.dep.pa.gov/Business/ProgramIntegration/Pennsylvania-Pipeline-Portal/Pages/Mariner-East-II.aspx

Also this week, record breaking cold weather and snow.   Back in August 2017, the Farmers’ Almanac had released its long-range prediction for winter 2018.  It seems their crystal ball was close to spot on! This winter has been freezing cold and snowy. However, in their prediction, they claimed it would be sunny and cold this past week but they missed the snowy part.  The county has witnessed very cold weather and thanks to the Nor’easter, we averaged around 3 inches of snow. We dodged a bullet. Others, like the City of Philadelphia, have declared a snow emergency. Many schools in the region were closed on Thursday and Friday.  But not those in Downingtown, Owen J. Roberts, Phoenixville and Great Valley; they were open on Friday.  Smart move? Time will tell.

As for the freezing, below zero, cold, we shall see it come to an end by next week but until then, stay warm.