Shell has formally acknowledged that it exceeded emission limits at its massive new petrochemical plant in western Pennsylvania and will pay nearly $10 million to Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection and the local community, announced Gov. Josh Shapiro’s administration. Shell was expected to restart operations following completion of repairs as soon as May 24.
Under the consent order and agreement (COA), Shell will pay a civil penalty of $4,935,023, 25% of which will be directed to local communities, according to a press release on Gov. Shapiro’s website. It will spend another $5 million for environmental projects to benefit the local communities. In total, communities in western Pennsylvania will directly receive $6.2 million for projects to benefit the environment, heath, and quality of life of the community near the facility because of the COA.
Shell warned it would continue to exceed air emission limits through the fall as the plant ramps up production, reported AP News. Under the COA, it will be required to pay additional civil penalties for any future violations.
Shell continues to face a federal lawsuit filed by the Clean Air Council and Environmental Integrity Project accusing the company of repeatedly violating permitted air pollution limits.
The $6 billion facility went online in November 2022. It is the first major polyethylene (PE) plant in the northeastern United States and is expected to produce 3.5 billion pounds of PE annually.