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Media Contact:

Justin Wasser, 202.753.7016, jwasser@earthworks.org

Background: On Wednesday, Governor Josh Shapiro announced a consent order and agreement with Shell Chemicals Appalachia, LLC for nearly $10 million along with an acknowledgement from Shell for repeated air pollution violations. This is the first enforcement action taken by Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) and the Shapiro administration since the plant came online in November 2022. The statement also announced that Shell would formally restart operations today. This is the only notification to residents that the plastics plant would resume operations despite Shell publicly promising to alert the community prior to restarting operations at the virtual meeting in April.

Statement by Earthworks anaïs peterson, Petrochemical Campaigner

“Today’s enforcement action is long overdue yet far too little for a facility that has spent the past six months malfunctioning and dumping illegal and excess air pollution on the local community.

“Once again decisions have been made impacting Pennsylvania residents on the frontline of pollution without their input as one of the largest facilities in Southwestern Pennsylvania seemingly gets a pass to pay to pollute. Fines and payments do nothing to negate the impacts this facility has already had on residents. Until Shell can prove their facility can operate within the law, the Shapiro administration and PADEP must order a temporary shut down.”

Statement by Andie Grey, watchdog with Eyes on Shell and lives 3 miles from the Shell Plant:

“The overwhelming and toxic pollution residents have been exposed to has already harmed this community – there is no price tag that will allow for this to be acceptable. Shell has repeatedly exceeded generous allowances, with little to no communication about the levels of pollutants being released. The agencies responsible for oversight and enforcement cannot diminish the concerns of residents then claim they are going to make Shell a good neighbor – when there is ample evidence Shell has no desire to protect this community.”

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