Mail Icon Facebook Icon Twitter Icon Share
NEWS & EVENTS Subscribe to rss news feed  

 

News about the proposed Shell ethane cracker in Beaver County: the Clean Air Council and the Environmental Integrity Project are appealing the permit given by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Why? Because, they say, the permit isn’t protective enough, and is violation of the federal Clean Air Act.

 

The ethane cracker would be in Monaca, which already is dealing with poor air quality that doesn’t meet federal standards. The new cracker would be a major point source for pollution.

 

In case you were curious, here’s ethane cracker 101: The facility will take a chemical called ethane, which is a component of one type of natural gas that comes from fracking, and convert it into polyethylene through a couple of chemical reactions that take the gas and eventually convert it into long chains of a similar repeating structure. Polyethylene is used in a lot of industrial processes, including making plastic that goes into everything from grocery bags to test tubes.

 

For ethane cracker 102, click here.

 

ethane1

 

Here’s the news release:

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

August 4, 2015

 

Clean Air Council and Environmental Integrity Project Challenge PA Department of Environmental Protection’s Approval of Shell Ethane Cracker Permit

 

The Council and Environmental Integrity Project’s appeal of the permit follows their filing of comments recommending stronger pollution controls and air pollution monitoring. The DEP’s approval of Shell’s permit does not conform with the Clean Air Act.

 

Philadelphia, PA – Yesterday the Clean Air Council and the Environmental Integrity Project appealed a state permit for a proposed petrochemical plant northwest of Pittsburgh that would allow the construction of a major source of air pollution in an area that already exceeds federal air quality standards set to protect human health.

 

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in June approved of a plan by Shell Chemical Appalachia LLC for a new petrochemical facility called an “ethane cracker” in Monaca, Beaver County, PA, that would process ethane from Marcellus Shale natural gas to produce polyethylene for plastic products.

 

The environmental groups are appealing the permit to the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board because DEP did not comply with the minimum requirements of the federal Clean Air Act and Pennsylvania’s State Implementation Plan.

 

“Shell’s proposed air pollution controls for the facility are inadequate and do not provide the residents of Beaver County with the most protective pollution technology controls, which have been implemented at similar Shell facilities and other petrochemical plants in other parts of the country,” said Joseph Otis Minott, Esq. Chief Counsel, Executive Director of the Clean Air Council.

 

”Ozone levels in Beaver County already exceed levels that are safe for human health, causing excess risk of asthma and other serious respiratory diseases.   Shell must monitor and control the facility’s emissions of volatile organic compounds, an ozone precursor, as much as possible to comply with the Clean Air Act and to protect the health of the surrounding communities,” said Sparsh Khandeshi, an attorney for the Environmental Integrity Project.

 

The facility will be a major source of air pollution in Beaver County, an area that is currently designated as nonattainment for ozone and PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standards. The groups argue that DEP has not required Shell to install equipment, such as fence-line monitoring, that would detect leaks and help achieve and ensure the lowest achievable emission rate.

 

The lawsuit also challenges Shell’s representation of the amount of volatile organic compounds that will be released from flaring. Without these needed controls, the groups believe that residents and communities in the Beaver County area would be harmed by the operation of the Shell Petrochemical Facility.

 

Clean Air Council is a member-supported, non-profit environmental organization dedicated to protecting everyone’s right to breathe clean air. The Council works through public education, community advocacy, and government oversight to ensure enforcement of environmental laws.

 

The Environmental Integrity Project is nonpartisan, nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., dedicated to advocating for more effective enforcement of environmental laws. EIP has three goals: (1) to provide objective analyses of how the failure to enforce or implement environmental laws increases pollution and affects public health; (2) to hold federal and state agencies, as well as individual corporations, accountable for failing to enforce or comply with environmental laws; and (3) to help local communities obtain the protection of environmental laws.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

events
March 26, 2017
Breathless: An Air Quality Expo Breathless – an Air Quality Expo   “Breathless – an Air Quality Expo” is a fun and free event where your entire family can learn about air pollution in the region, and learn how to reduce it so that we … Learn More
March 11, 2017
Creatives for Climate Workshop The second “Creatives for Climate Workshop” will be held on March 11th   Come explore climate solutions and create new ways to deal with climate change. Network and brainstorm with experts and peers alike. Get hands-on experiences exploring climate change … Learn More
December 8, 2016
Links Between Cancer and Early Life Exposures to Environmental Pollutants A Webinar on the Latest Science, and its Implications for Health Professionals   Accreditation: Approved for 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM Thursday, December 8th, 12:15 -1:15 pm, Eastern Standard Time   REGISTER FOR WEBINAR AT: http://bit.ly/cancerlinkswebinar   While pediatric … Learn More
November 19, 2016
Free artist talk with Andrea Polli – “Energy Flow” Join Carnegie Museum of Art’s Hillman Photography Initiative on November 19th at 1:30pm for a free artist talk with Andrea Polli, one of the Initiative’s contributing artists. Andrea is launching ‘Energy Flow,’ a large-scale public light artwork and wind power … Learn More
September 10, 2016
Go Green Festival plus Electric Car Show & Cruise A FREE Event Sponsored by Marcellus Outreach Butler, in cooperation with National Drive Electric Week and Beaver County Marcellus Awareness Committee   September 10, 2016 11 am – 5 pm   Kohl’s lower lot at Cranberry Commons (Rt. 228), Cranberry … Learn More
July 29, 2016
2016-2017 Green Workplace Challenge – Workshop Are you interested in competing in 2016-2017 Pittsburgh Green Workplace Challenge (GWC) but want to learn more before signing up by the Aug. 31 deadline? Are you signed up for the Challenge and ready to get ahead of the competition? … Learn More
June 16, 2016
Kickoff Celebration for the 2016-2017 Pittsburgh Green Workplace Challenge Commit to making the Pittsburgh region a better place to live, work, and play! Sign up for this year’s Pittsburgh Green Workplace Challenge (GWC) and attend the kickoff celebration on June 16!  All are invited to attend the kickoff, regardless … Learn More
May 12, 2016
FracTracker Lease Map Workshop as part of PF/PCA Exhibition FracTracker Alliance invites southwest PA residents to learn more about the first ever online, searchable map of oil and gas leases in Allegheny County, PA. FracTracker is holding a public workshop at the PCA galleries on May 12th to demonstrate … Learn More
See all events
latest on facebook
  • Breathe Project

    Sunday, March 26 at 2 PM - 6 PM
    282 St Clair Ave, Clairton, PA 15025-1738, United States

    Tickets: http://org.salsalabs.com/o/2155/p/salsa/event/common/public/?event_KEY=99579

    Clean Water Action - Pennsylvania

    Mar 10th 11:10am • No Comments

    Please join us for the second "Creatives for Climate Workshop" on March 11th!

    Come explore climate solutions and create new ways to deal with climate change. Network and brainstorm with experts and peers alike. Get hands-on experiences exploring climate change and solutions.

    9:00 AM - 3:30 PM
    To be held at Repair The World: Pittsburgh
    Tickets $10 - Register by 3/6 http://bit.ly/2lhvujJ

    Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council
    Pittsburgh Filmmakers
    Carnegie Museum of Natural History

    Creatives for Climate Workshop

    eventbrite.com

    Mar 5th 10:09pm • No Comments

    Please join us for the second "Creatives for Climate Workshop" on March 11th!

    Come explore climate solutions and create new ways to deal with climate change. Network and brainstorm with experts and peers alike. Get hands-on experiences exploring climate change and solutions.

    9:00 AM - 3:30 PM
    To be held at Repair The World: Pittsburgh
    Tickets $10 - Register by 3/6 http://bit.ly/2lhvujJ

    Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council
    Pittsburgh Filmmakers
    Carnegie Museum of Natural History

    Creatives for Climate Workshop

    eventbrite.com

    Mar 1st 10:09am • No Comments

    Breathe Project shared Speck Sensor's post.

    Speck Sensor

    "Yards away sits an elementary school, where students and teachers breathe air tainted by tailpipes" #airquality http://ow.ly/q1DK309bnIP

    Feb 21st 12:18pm • No Comments

    Breathe Project shared Speck Sensor's post.

    Speck Sensor

    See the 2017 State of Global Air Report highlighting #airquality and #health in all countries! http://ow.ly/EZOf3092uwU #data #trends

    Feb 16th 2:09pm • No Comments

  • Press Contact
  • The Heinz Endowments
    Linda Braund, Communications Manager
    Phone: 412.338.2636
    Email: lbraund@heinz.org
  • JOIN OUR COALITION Be part of the growing movement for clean air in the Pittsburgh region.
    Thank you for your support! Look for our updates in your email box. Please share this initiative with others who would be interested in joining as well:
    CONNECT WITH US
    Today's Air Quality Forecast:
    Good
    Tomorrow's Forecast:
    Good
    Learn More About AQI >
    CONTACT
    © Breathe Project 2014. All Rights Reserved.
    Terms of Service
    Privacy Policy
    Learn More