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Happy Birthday, Shell Cracker Plant! Beaver County Wishes for a Less Polluted Future

Posted by John Donovan: 16 November 2023

Beaver County’s Shell cracker plant just celebrated its first birthday, and boy, did it get some gifts! A whopping 13 notices of violation and at least 26 malfunctions. It’s like the plant’s trying to set a new high score in the environmental harm game. The local community marked this “special” occasion by reminding everyone that Shell might not be the best neighbour.

Anaïs Peterson of Earthworks dropped some fun facts at the party: a nine-day benzene release and a 65-hour carbon monoxide emission event. Talk about party favours! And the guests of honour? Residents like Skyler Brimmeier, who can smell Shell’s operations before they even see their house, and others who have moved out because the Shell party just never ends.

But don’t worry, Shell’s been a good sport, doling out $10 million in fines for their environmental oopsies. Daniel Rossi-Keen of RiverWise gave a heartfelt toast, pointing out that good neighbours don’t typically pollute your air, water, and soil. Shell, however, reassured everyone that safety is their “top priority.” They’re probably just working on a different definition of safety than the rest of us.

Meanwhile, Beaver County Commissioner Jack Manning and Mayor Tom Hamilton keep their glasses half-full, praising the plant for bringing in jobs and interest. Kristin Stanzak from Don’s Deli even chimed in about how Shell helped grow her business. Hey, as long as the sandwiches don’t taste like benzene, right?

The Irvine Park event wasn’t just a regular party; it was a call to action for local leaders to ensure Shell plays nice. Rossi-Keen emphasized the importance of leading in response to community needs. As for Shell’s response? Well, they seem to be playing hard to get, as attempts to reach them for comment were reportedly as successful as trying to find a clean spot around their plant.

So, happy first anniversary to the Shell cracker plant! Here’s to hoping the terrible twos bring fewer environmental violations and more actual responsibility. Cheers!

Any named individuals and other parties, including Shell, are invited to point out for correction any factual inaccuracies.

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