Photo courtesy of Shell.

On Feb. 2, the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) and Clean Air Council filed a notice of intent to sue the Shell Polymers Monaca Site in Beaver County due to repeated violations of air pollution limits. Located 30 miles west of Pittsburgh, the EIP cited the petrochemical plant in Potter Township for illegal emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that cause smog and can cause nausea, nerve damage and other health problems. 

The notice states that the plant emitted 512 tons of VOCs in September of last year, almost reaching the 12-month permitted limit of its approved VOC emissions, 516.2 tons, over one month. Additionally, the EIP and Clean Air Council write that the plant emitted nitrogen oxide (NOx) and carbon monoxide (CO) from the plant near the end of 2022 at rates that overextend permit limits.

“Shell’s exceedances are not just numbers in a book, they are tons of pollution that can harm and even kill people,” says Clean Air Council Executive Director and Chief Counsel Joseph Minott. “We can’t allow these pollution events to become the cost of doing business. There must be strict penalties to deter this clear violation of the laws.” 

Jason PhoxGeneral Assignment Reporter

Jason Phox is a journalist in the Pittsburgh area sharing important information with the people of the Steel City. He enjoys writing, photography, and mostly comic books.