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Webinar to Highlight Community Risks, Harms

MONACA, Pennsylvania — Today, advocates, experts and community members will mark Shell’s 100th day of operation with a webinar and report card reviewing the facility’s malfunctions, violations, and pollution and their impact on the community.  In fewer than 100 days of operation, Shell Polymers Monaca has exceeded annual emissions allowances, undergone multiple emergency flaring episodes, submitted at least seven malfunction reports, and received three Notices of Violation from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP). 

Click here to register for “The First 100 Days: Shell’s Report Card,” on February 23 at 7:30 PM ET.

“Shell’s illegal pollution, continued flaring events, and atrocious disregard for environmental regulations  in just its first 100 days of operations pose an unacceptable risk to workers and communities living near the petrochemical complex,” said Anais Peterson, Petrochemical Campaigner at Earthworks. “The health and safety of families and residents cannot be treated as simply the cost of doing business in Beaver County. If Shell is incapable of being a good neighbor it should at least try to be a tolerable one”.

In Beaver County, public health concerns around petrochemicals continue to compound. One week after crews burned off hazardous vinyl chloride and other substances from the derailed Norfolk Southern train in East Palestine, Shell’s facility—just thirty-five miles from the derailment site—began a days-long series of flaring due to a systems malfunction that lit the sky orange. The same day, Shell’s facility received its third Notice of Violation from PADEP for exceeding its 12 month rolling emissions limitations for nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds. 

Last Friday, Eyes on Shell, Environmental Integrity Project, and Clean Air Council sent a letter to PADEP urging the agency to temporarily halt operations at Shell Polymers Monaca due to ongoing air pollution violations posing unacceptable risk to workers and the nearby communities. 

“All across the Ohio River Valley a massive petrochemical complex is being built around our communities,” said Dr. Clifford Lau, BCMAC board member. “In Pennsylvania from the fracking in Washington and Greene Counties to the pipeline crossing Allegheny County ending at the Shell Plastic plant in Beaver we are being polluted for the creation of single use plastic.”

For nearly a decade, industry boosters and politicians have justified the facility’s health impacts with claims the project would spur local economic growth, renewed business investment, and the creation of tens of thousands of jobs. Instead, Beaver County has seen zero growth in jobs, businesses, or employment since the facility was first announced in 2012, federal data show. Today, Shell Polymers Monaca’s future remains uncertain—new research casts doubt on the facility’s near-term profit outlook due to falling virgin plastics demand and global shifts in the petrochemical market. 

 – Webinar presenters are available for interview upon request –

Shell Accountability Campaign members: Beaver County Marcellus Awareness Community, Between the Waters, Beyond Plastics Beekman, NY, Breathe Project, Center for Coalfield Justice, Clean Air Council, Climate Reality Project, Earthworks, Extinction Rebellion Kentucky, Friends of the Earth, Healthy Gulf, FracTracker Alliance, Moms Clean Air Force, Mountain Watershed Assoc., The Natural History Museum, Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania, PASUP, Plastic Pollution Coalition, Protect PT, Story of Stuff Project, Three River Waterkeeper, Zero Waste Ithaca

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