Who ever cared about Delaware County Council unless you had something on the agenda. For what seemed like forever, you could count on Mary J. Blige style ‘No More Drama’ as everything was unanimously agreed to without question or conflict.

It hasn’t been a month and the county council is all shook up over TV and transparency. Those new rebel rousing democratic councilmen want council meetings televised and are demanding transparency on issues that have long been handled behind closed doors.

Today’s report on the pipeline risk assessment vote provides a hint that county council will be worth watching for those of us who are tired of the old story line and want to see how things work in the county a little clearer.

Last week county council voted to do a risk assessment on the Mariner 2 pipeline snaking through the county. This week they voted to stop the risk assessment. Even a republican member of council went along with the two democratic members on this one.

The issue has to do with who is performing the assessment. The county’s Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) seemed to be the approved guys to do the work until we learned today that…

29 of the LEPC’s 54 members either work for a pipeline or energy company

Makes you wonder how objective their risk assessment could be.

Councilman Zidek outlined his proposal to have an assessment vendor chosen by a committee consisting of two members of county council, one from each party; one member from the LEPC; one member from a local labor union; and one person from either the Middletown Coalition on Public Safety or the Del-Chesco United for Pipeline Safety.

As the councilman who agreed to move on with the LEPC study says…

“County council does not have any jurisdiction to stop this pipeline. What we do have jurisdiction over is the safety of our first responders and our residents should something happen.”

Both sides seem certain they’ll come up with someone to make a risk assessment. It’s just a matter of who and when.

Read more on Delcotimes.com